Former 2007 Master’s champ Zach Johnson is looking to repeat that magical win at Augusta in a few weeks. What’s it going to take to get him back in that green jacket?
It’s no surprise I’m a big fan of Zach Johnson. We’ve written a few pieces about him before here on GolfDash including, What You Can Learn from Zach Johnson’s Golf Swing (by the way – a lot!) There’s something about his work ethic, his faith and his “take-nothing-for-granted” approach to the game that is inspiring.
Admittedly, Zach has not performed very well at the Masters. in his own words, he calls his Masters record “average at best.” In his 9 Masters appearances he has missed 2 cuts (2009, 2011) with his best finish (after his 2007 win) was a T20 in his title defense in 2008. The rest of the years he has averaged 291 total score – that’s 3 over par! His 2007 win tied the highest overall score with a 289 (1 over par).
To keep this in perspective the last 4 years total scores (starting with 2013) were 279, 278, 274 and 272. If we take the 272 score and subtract it from Zach’s win score in 2007 it’s a difference of 17 strokes. That’s a lot of strokes to make up in 4 days!
What was it about 2007 that was different?
“It was a US Open kind of year there,” Johnson said.”It was really windy and really firm and fast. The ball released in the fairways. I putted pretty well. I haven’t putted well there the last four or five years.”
His caddie since 2004, Damon Green says he “absolutely” believes Zach can win a second Masters.
“We play it (Augusta National) every year. We know that course like the back of our hand now. When we go to these other majors, we’re having to learn all these nuances and everything every year. I think he’s more confident when he goes there, for sure.”
What Zach’s edge coming into the Masters this year? Well, same as every year – his consistency. He makes a ton of cuts. For example, last year (2013) he made 20 out of 24, the year before – 24/25, 19/23, 23/24, 22/26 – well, you get the idea. He’s 12th on the all-time money list with over 32 million and on and on it goes.
As he’s mentioned he’s not stellar in any one category but not bad in any either. I mean to make 32M you need exceptional performance – he’s got it.
Another thing people mention is that his length hampers his chances. His current stat for driving is he’s 129th with an average of 282. I mean it’s short by today’s standard, yes, but he sacrifices that for fairways hit. I mean who cares if you can bomb it 310 and you’re in the rough? Me, I’d much rather have the consistency.
But I believe the key for Zach to win is to have a good putting tournament. Currently he is 68th in Total Putting so he needs to improve on that if he hopes to become a repeat winner.
Another thing Zach has on his side is his incredible and now mature “team” working and supporting him including his caddie of 10 years, Damon Smith, swing coach Mike Bender, Fitness “Coach Noss”, Manager Brad Buffoni, mental coach Dr. Morris M. Pickens and well as a host of partners including Transamerica.
Transamerica sponsors some of the biggest stars in golf. It’s fun to see an organization that supports golf at every level. Check out the dynamic Transamerica golf team.
Zach says, “I’m the product of hard work. I’ve been blessed to play this game with minimal injuries and blessed to have a great team of individuals.” Johnson said.
Finally, I did want to mention Zach’s charity. Zach helps transform tomorrow not only for his family but for lives of children and their families in Cedar Rapids through a non-profit organization, the Zach Johnson Foundation.
Please check it out here: the Zach Johnson Foundation
Oops. One LAST thing I wanted to mention. Tomorrow, the Transamerica Google+ Hangout series will feature Zach Johnson, and hosted by the Golf Channel’s Steve Sands. This live event will take place on Tuesday, April 1, and questions can be submitted via Twitter, using the #TeamTransamerica hashtag. This will be cool – LIVE Zach!
Disclosure: This has been a paid endorsement by Transamerica.