Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston is already a cult classic. Since making a run at the Open Championship in July, his jolly smile, bushy beard and, uh, uniquely endearing nickname have delighted golf fans the world over.
So when the Europeans visit the U.S. to contest the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in September, fans can expect Team Europe captain Darren Clarke to bring their beloved Beef along, right?
Not so fast. According to Johnson, there are several players much more deserving of one of Clarke’s captain’s picks.
“I don’t think I’m very close, and I think that’s fair. There are a lot of guys playing very good golf, and if I was the captain I probably wouldn’t pick myself,” Johnston told Sky Sports. “I’d pick Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Russell Knox. Russell is playing great at the moment, and you can’t not pick Kaymer and Westwood — they’re both class players.”
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick locked up the ninth and final automatic bid with a fifth-place finish at last week’s Czech Masters. Despite a strong showing in this year’s major championships, Johnston is still only ranked 24th.
Captain Darren Clarke is scheduled to make his three picks on August 29, and with five rookies qualifying for the team, Clarke is expected to add some veterans to the roster, which doesn’t bode well for Beef or his fans.