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Fan Breaks Down Miracle Putt He Holed in Ryder Cup Practice Round

Ryder Cup: American Hero Makes Putt, Defeats Europe, Wins $100
A 30-year-old insurance salesman from North Dakota was the unlikely hero of the Ryder Cup on Thursday. Here he recounts the epic triumph.

CHASKA, Minn -- A couple of hours after draining the 12-footer seen ’round the world – well, around social media, anyway – David Johnson stood near the range at Hazeltine National and tried to describe how he made the putt of his life.

No, not Dustin Johnson, David Johnson. In case you missed it, Johnson, a 30-year-old insurance salesman from Mayville, N.D., became a bit of celebrity Thursday during the final practice round of this 41st Ryder Cup. As the fourball consisting of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Andy Sullivan banged putts on the 8th green, Johnson boldly chirped up from the gallery that he could hole a tricky downhill putt that was giving McIlroy and Sullivan fits.

Stenson quickly called Johnson on his bravado and invited him under the ropes to back up his big talk. Rose cranked up the pressure by putting a $100 bill on the line. Johnson, in a red performance top and black Minnesota Twins cap tugged low over his brow, calmly szied up the putt, stepped in and … rapped the ball into the back of the hole. The gallery’s reaction -- and Johnson’s -- was, well, just watch this.

“Admittedly, I hit the putt too fast and it happened to hit the backboard and fell in,” Johnson said. “If I was trying to hit it again it, I would probably [play about] about two feet of break and [hit it] half as fast.

“Crazy thing is I tapped the putt. I don’t know if I could hit it any slower.”

Any beers in him?

“Not really, I was just getting started,” he said. “I had one in my hand but put it down. I haven’t had one since.”

Johnson said he’s not much of a golfer but considers himself a “decent” putter.

A couple of hours after his big moment, Johnson was still palling around with McIlroy, Rose and Stenson. The four of them laughed it up on the practice range as Johnson solicited autographs from the European stars. The players happily signed -- where else? -- on Johnson’s crisp $100 note.

Is he likely to spend it?

“Not a chance,” he said. “It’s going to be on a way too expensive plaque in my office.”

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