I love this guy:
Andrew “Beef” Johnston takes 36-hole lead at Albertsons Boise Open
- September 16, 2016
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- Following a second round 63 at the Albertsons Boise Open, Andrew Johnston grabbed the 36-hole lead heading into the weekend. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
BOISE, Idaho – Andrew Johnston took a giant step to accomplishing his goal of earning a PGA TOUR card Friday morning at Hillcrest Country Club. The 27-year-old from London, England known to fans as “Beef” posted an 8-under 63 to take the 36-hole lead at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, the second of four Web.com Tour Finals events. Johnston’s 13-under-par 129 total places him two strokes ahead of Scott Stallings (65) and Miguel Angel Carballo (64) heading into the weekend.
Sam Ryder, Keith Mitchell and Mackenzie Hughes sit 10-under-par 132 after the second round. There are 13 players within five strokes of the lead.
“I was just a bit more dialed in and I think just played slightly better,” said Johnston, who hit 15 of 18 greens in the second round. “It was three shots different from yesterday and sometimes it can be such a small difference.”
Johnston won earlier this year on the European Tour at the Real Club Valderrama Open de España. Sitting at No. 17 in the Race to Dubai rankings, Johnston decided to travel across the Atlantic and see if he could earn his TOUR card, once he found out he was eligible for the Finals. Johnston is looking forward to playing both major tours if he can successfully navigate the four-event series.
“If I can come out with a card, then I’ll be able to play the best tournaments on both sides,” said Johnston, who is exempt in Europe until 2018. “I’m not going to give up playing in Europe either. I’m going to play both sides. If I can do that, it’s going to make for a great year next year.”
Johnston acknowledged that he’s missing some of his favorite events at the moment to chase his dream. He skipped the Italian Open this week and the Porsche European Open to play in Boise and Columbus next week. With the golf season seemingly never ending, Johnston’s long-term plan is to play in the biggest events on both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour for many years.
“You always want to come over and play because there are so many good events,” said Johnston, about the possibility of becoming a member of the PGA TOUR. “It’s where you want to play. You see the top guys in the world, they’ll play the four majors, the four World Golf Championships, like that, and then pick the best ones around there like THE PLAYERS, Wentworth back home, Scottish Open, Irish Open, and others here. ... if you build a schedule playing that year in and year out is great and that’s what you want to be doing.”
Johnston turned pro in 2009 and struggled his first couple of years. Last year he changed caddies and started working with a new swing coach. Those are significant changes to make halfway through a season, but the gamble has paid off. This season, Johnston won his first professional event and finished solo eighth in the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon, in just his third major start.
“You’ve just got to keep on trusting what you're doing and keep on believing that you can compete with the best guys in the world,” said Johnston. “I haven’t really thought about it that much. every tournament you want to go and do well no matter where it is, what tour it is. That’s been the approach I’ve had, I think.”
Stallings backed up his first-round 66 with a 65 on Friday. The three-time TOUR winner posted just one top 10 this season on TOUR. With his exemption up from his victory at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open, Stallings was forced to compete in the Finals and has really seen his form improve these past few weeks.
“Last week was a huge step in right direction for me,” said Stallings, who finished tied for sixth at the DAP Championship. “To be able to put a few weeks in a row together is nice. It’s motivating and encouraging, because I feel like it’s been there a while and it doesn’t always happen on our time.”