July 14, 2011
Jean Van de Velde and Thomas Bjorn can tell you with painful accuracy that it's not how you start at the British Open, it's how you finish. Of course, the reverse can be true, as Dustin Johnson proved at the end of his round Thursday.
Standing at hole No. 14, Johnson was 4-over and looking at an early exit from Royal St. George's. Then he went on a tear, scoring birdie, birdie and this little beauty on the 159-yard, par-3 16th:
[Sorry, the R&A made us pull it. Just use your imagination.]
"It was a perfect wedge," Johnson said afterward. "The wind was right to left. But I never got to see [the ace]. Where the tee is on the left side, you can't see where [the ball] hits."
Johnson would go on to birdie 17 and bogey 18, giving him an even-par round for the day and leaving him five strokes behind clubhouse leader Thomas Bjorn.
The ace was, like so much at British Open courses, a rather ugly little thing. Still, for the first ace in an Open Championship since Thomas Levet at Turnberry in 2009, it'll do just fine.