Golf: Johnson penalised two shots for hitting wrong ball in Hawaii, Woodland leads by three with second 67

Dustin Johnson plays a shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Jan 4, 2019.
Dustin Johnson plays a shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Jan 4, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Defending champion Dustin Johnson said he did not blame a marshal for his role in incurring a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball at golf's Tournament of Champions on Friday (Jan 4) in Hawaii.

The American former world No. 1 pulled his tee shot into a penalty area, the new terminology used for a hazard under changes to golf's rules implemented at the start of the year, at the par-four fourth during the second round at the Kapalua Plantation course on the island of Maui.

He was directed by a marshal towards a ball in the long tropical grass and a quick glance confirmed it had a logo of the brand he plays.

He then hacked the ball back into play, only to stumble upon his ball a few yards further on, in short rough.

"Obviously it was my fault," world No. 3 Johnson told reporters.

"There was a ball right there, and it was a TaylorMade.

"I could see the logo on the side so obviously I just assumed it was mine."

He double-bogeyed the hole, shot one-over 74 and slipped seven strokes behind halfway leader Gary Woodland, who reeled off five successive birdies en route to a second straight six-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead at the halfway point.

After a frustrating front nine, he kicked off his birdie run with a chip-in at the 11th, and later capped his day with another birdie at the par-five 18th to move to 12-under 134 at the Kapalua Plantation course on the island of Maui.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, another former world No. 1, shot a 68 for a share of second place on nine-under alongside Bryson DeChambeau (68) and Kevin Tway (71).

Woodland, who has won only three times in 231 starts on the PGA Tour, said his patience had been tested on a day that started extremely windy before abating somewhat as the leaders negotiated the back nine.

"It was frustrating early," he said. "The wind was really messing with me on the greens. I regrouped after missing a short one on nine, chipped in there (on No. 11) and got it rolling."

McIlroy, in his first start at Kapalua, enjoyed getting to grips with the conditions, a five-foot miss at the 15th notwithstanding.

"I've enjoyed last couple of days, flighting different shots, hitting different trajectories," he said. "With all the technical work I've done in the off-season it's a real contrast to come out here and completely forget about the swing and just hit the shot."

Overnight leader Tway, who shot a 66 on Thursday despite suffering a sinus infection and earache, said he felt much better after sleeping more than 12 hours, though his second round was five shots worse than the first. But he at least fared better than Johnson.