He wound up in the trees, clipped a tree trying to escape, pitched up short of the green, chipped to 4 feet and watched his putt circle around the cup and stay out, giving him a double bogey.
"But then I played good the rest of the way in," Johnson said. "Hit a lot of good putts, but just nothing went in."
Johnson will go to Poppy Hills and its five par 5s for Saturday, which might be an advantage. Then again, Robert Garrigus is a big hitter, and he only managed a 71 at Poppy in the second round, playing the par 5s in 1 under.
Garrigus was at 8-under 136, joined by Mike Weir and Mark Calcavecchia, who each had a 69 at Pebble Beach. Weir has six top 10s in his 11 starts at this tournament, and he might feel this place owes him one.
Calcavecchia is a mystery.
He has played only two other times this decade, each time swearing never to return. He might have been thinking too much this year on his plan to play, although it appears to be working.
"My theory was the weather was dead perfect at the Hope and Phoenix and I missed the cut in both of them," he said. "So I thought I would come up here and freeze my butt off - cold, wind and rain - and see how I did. It seems to be working out."
The highest-ranked players continue to occupy the bottom part of the leaderboard.
British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington had a 73 at Pebble Beach as the breeze strengthened but the skies remained surprisingly clear, leaving him at 3-over 147 and in serious jeopardy of missing the cut. Also at 3 over was Singh, who had a 75 at Pebble Beach.
Phil Mickelson, a two-time champion at Pebble Beach who is off to a slow start this year, got up-and-down from a greenside bunker on his final hole at Poppy Hills for a 71, leaving him 11 shots out of the lead.