SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- We promise, we weren't planning on writing any more Andrew "Beef" Johnston stories on Thursday. You figure there's only so much mileage you can get out of a guy who had played in a grand total of three major championships before this week.
But then the guy goes ahead and does something like this. On the 15th hole on Thursday, Johnston sprayed his approach shot left and ON TO the platform holding a manual scoreboard. It seemed like a simple drop opportunity for most tour players. But most tour players are not Beef.
After, Beef explained the situation. Well, at least he tried to explain it.
"I got over there and I was talking to the ref and I got a bit confused with the rule. And he was saying. . . um. . . you. . . you can't get a drop. . . I'm going to get this wrong anyway," Johnston said as he broke into a laugh. "You can't get a drop away from where the scoreboard is if it's not in line with the flag."
"I wanted to chip it left of the bunker, take two putts and get off. So he goes, 'You can get a drop, but a club length, and that's it.' And I said, 'But it's still in my way.' And he said, 'But it's got to be in line with the flag and line of sight, it's got to be both.' And I just went, 'OK, I'll just chip it over the scoreboard.' I had no choice. I was like, 'alright, let's just get on with it,' but it took me a long time to understand what he was saying."
The shot itself is otherworldly, but so is the reaction, with Johnston emerging from the crowd like a folk hero, slapping hands with the gallery. The only downside was he missed the putt, and settled for bogey.
No worries, Beef. Win or lose this week, you've already been worth the price of admission.