At Hazeltine National Golf Club this week, there is a bridge that takes players from the driving range to the first tee. Etched across the bridge are the words, “Where LEGENDS are forged.” Typically, those new-found legends are borne out of the 24 men who are representing their country or continent; occasionally, it’s a captain who can have his legacy cemented; never, until Thursday, has a fan been the man who has had his legend forged at golf’s biggest international competition.
Just chatted to the dude who drained that money putt on sixth green. Rors, Stense and JRo signed his c-note. pic.twitter.com/rBlkEb9nEn
— Alan Bastable (@alan_bastable) September 29, 2016
Enter David Johnson of Mayville, North Dakota, an American fan who enjoys giving the European players a hard time when they miss putts. While the foursome of Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Andy Sullivan were practicing on the sixth green, McIlroy and Sullivan were repeatedly unable to hole a speedy, downhill putt.
Johnson gave the pair a little ribbing while trumpeting his own short game prowess. Stenson pulled the boisterous American from the crowd, Rose placed a $100 bill next to a ball and what happened next is now a piece of Ryder Cup lore.
— Andy Sullivan (@andysulligolf) September 29, 2016
Enjoying his 15 minutes of fame, Johnson gave the quote of the week, which is saying something considering what has already been said in the press room. Asked what he was thinking before hitting the putt, Johnson joked about the grain of the grass and then gave the most honest answer we’ve heard in a while.
“I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke, hit the putt and it happened to go in.”