‘Beef’ cooks up support in U.S. debut

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Andrew Johnston had a Coke and offered a smile for his troubles knowing his final round journey at the U.S. Open had come to an end.

Wherever Johnston walked, fans followed with a loud chant. When first heard, the chant sounds like Spieth, which of course would be encouragement for Jordan Spieth.

“People told me that they were going to love me in America,” Johnston said. “I thought ‘okay, yeah, yeah you might get a little bit of a reception’. I never thought it would have been this mad. The last two days have been absolutely crazy, and all of the playing partners have had no idea what was going on.”

While the result, a tie for 54th place at 13-over par was not what he wanted, the experience, was for him well worth his U.S. debut.

Johnston’s even par front-nine was highlighted by a tricky downhill, left-to-right putt on the sixth hole.

“I hit a good shot and I thought it was going to feed a little more left,” he said. “Then you walk up to the green and are like ‘oh my gosh I have such a tough putt here’. I could just see the lines and it was a nice moment.”

Tee shots cost Johnston dearly on the back-nine and he finished his final round with a 4-over par 74.

“You know how tough it is,”said Johnston. “You have to miss it in the right places and that’s what I didn’t do on those holes and that’s how you end up with bogeys.”

It was clear that despite hardships he faced throughout his rounds, the fans helped him through as was consistently waving and at one point raising the roof with them.

Johnston essentially is the every man golfer, and told reporters earlier in the week that were he to win the U.S. Open that he would “probably be drunk for a week”.

“I’m just telling the truth,” Johnston said. “I’ve grown up and had a normal childhood. I was a member of my home course, nothing special, playing golf and then you end up playing in a U.S. Open, it’s mad. I don’t see myself as any different than anyone else. I don’t care where someone is from and what they are, if they’re nice and they’re fun, I’ve got all the time in the world for them. I think the guys picked up on that and I felt so much love this week, it’s been great.”

Next up for the man people call Beef is a trip to Akron and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but for now, Johnston will reflect on his experience. Sure he won a European Tour event earlier in the season but the work he had to do to qualify for the U.S. Open made him enjoy every minute at Oakmont Country Club.

“It’s been absolutely mad and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Johnston said.

Gee tees it up at Oakmont

It has been a non-stop work week for Devin Gee. Gee is taking over for Bob Ford as the Head Professional of Oakmont Country Club and after working countless hours with several U.S. Open tasks got a break of sorts.

Gee was flanked by some Oakmont Country Club members as he hit the driving range prior to the start of fourth round play.

It may seem odd that a golfer who did not qualify for the U.S. Open played in the tournament but with 67 golfers making the cut and play going in twosomes, there needed to be a marker. That was where Gee came in and he paired with Justin Hicks to comprise the first round four tee time.

“Robbie Zalzneck mentioned to me I could be a marker, either Bob or myself, earlier in the week, depending if there was an odd number that made the cut,” Gee said. “Fortunately, Bob is in the Fox booth. So once again, I’m the benefactor of Bob. Last night Robbie called me and said, ‘Hey, be ready to go around 10:00’. I don’t know if I was ready, but I was present.”

When asked to estimate his score, Gee stated it was over 80 but south of 90.

“I did not play very well,” said Gee. “I tried to stay out of his way the best I could. I’m sure he didn’t play as well as he would have liked, but he was a true gentleman out there, a true professional.”

Gee’s job was not done though as after post-round interviews, it was back to work, after all there was still a Major tournament to finish.

Author: Zac Weiss

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