The Golf Blog says: Things got very interesting after Zach Johnson putted out for what he thought was a par on the final hole to clinch the Crowne Plaza Invitational by 3 strokes over Jason Dufner, whose costly triple bogey on the 15th hole ruined his round.
Zach reportedly hit out of turn off the tee on 18, so he must have not been thinking clearly on the final hole. Then, on the green, he moved his ball mark one putter length away, to get out of Jason Dufner’s line. But when Zach lined up his putt, he failed to replace the ball mark to its original spot. Zach’s caddie, Damon Green, appeared not to be looking as Zach failed to replace the ball mark and failed to flag the error with Zach. So Zach putted the ball and luckily it went in. Had the putt not went in, Zach could have fallen back into a tie with Dufner after being assessed the 2 stroke penalty for failing to replace the ball to its original spot.
It could have been worse for Zach. Both he and his caddie celebrated the last putt as if he won the tournament. But had Zach failed to realize that he didn’t replace his ball mark and signed his scorecard with the wrong score, Zach would have been disqualified and Jason Dufner would have won the tournament. Pretty amazing.
So who warned Zach about the ball mark after the round? TV analyst Peter Kostis caught the mistake must have alerted a Rules Official Zach’s caddie, who then alerted Zach.