Golf Buzz

July 17, 2016 - 6:28am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Andrew Johnston
USA Today Sports Images
Believe it or not, there was a time not long ago when Andrew "Beef" Johnston didn't have that distinctive beard.

Englishman Andrew Johnston -- better known as "Beef" -- has quickly become a golf cult hero.

If there's anyone having more fun on and off the course than Beef these days, we don't know who it is. He'll enter Sunday's final round of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon alone in fourth place at 5 under, seven behind leader Henrik Stenson.

Beef is most well known for a certain distinctive feature -- that crazy beard.

He's also becoming well known for his high-caliber play, which won him the Open de Espana earlier this season on the European Tour and earned him a spot in both the U.S. Open (T54) and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (T42).

RELATED: Johnston's niece critiques his beard | Johnston moves into top 5 after hole-out

Can you even imagine the party Beef and friends will have should he somehow come from behind to win the game's oldest major?

We're talking about the same guy who went viral on the internet when he said this after winning in Spain in April:

 

 

And, as this video shows, he's a man of his word:

 

 

Beef took some heat for the "get hammered" quote. Is it the most responsible thing to say? Probably not. But can't you cut a 27-year-old who just had the biggest sporting moment of his life a little slack?

This is a guy who takes his nickname seriously. You can find all kinds of "beef" emblazoned on his wedges:

 

 

And how did he get that nickname?

Golf Channel's Will Gray uncovered that answer in this terrific profile:

Ironically enough, the Beef nickname has nothing to do with eating. When he was growing up, one of his friends noted that his bushy mane of hair resembled a slab of meat, and he started calling him “beef head.” The nickname stuck, and now it’s permanently emblazoned on Johnston’s left shoulder – the product of a few too many pints one night as a 16-year-old.

That said, he can eat beef quite well too, evidenced by what he did to this 32-ounce, Kobe tomahawk steak recently in Akron:

 

 

Back to that beard, which Beef has been growing since last September.

According to Gray's piece, Beef had every intention of shaving it off following his win in Spain. That's until he read some social media comments like this one: "Your beard is bad for the game of golf."

Beef told Gray he decided in that moment, "Well I’m just going to keep it now."

The look may not be everyone's cup of tea, but how can you knock a guy for being comfortable in his own skin and having a distinctive look?

Keep doing you, Beef. 

July 16, 2016 - 12:42pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
andrew johnston, beef johnston, open championship
Twitter / TheOpen
Andrew "Beef" Johnston is a lot of fun off the course, but it's time to start taking him seriously on the course with his play at the Open.

Just hours after posting the greatest Instagram video in the history of the app, Andrew "Beef" Johnston found himself in contention at the Open Championship.

It doesn't take a lot to make Beef smile, but holing out from off the green on the 13th hole to move into the top five at a major championship will certainly do it.

 

 

While Johnston usually grabs headlines for his facial hair and selection of cuisine, it's time to start paying attention to his golf game.

 

July 16, 2016 - 12:15pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
@NBCSN
Rory McIlroy wasn't pleased with his second shot at the par-5 16th hole in the third round of the 145th Open Championship and proceeded to toss his club in frustration.

Like a lot of players this week, Rory McIlroy was on the wrong end of the draw at Royal Troon in the 145th Open Championship. But, just as you'd expect, he's been grinding away nonetheless.

After a while though, frustration can set in. That's what happened with McIlroy after he sailed his second shot way right at the par-5 16th hole on Saturday in the third round.

As you can see, Protracer picked up the shot. And then, we got to see Rory's disgusted club toss:

 

 

Not bad. But still nothing compared to Rory's club toss at Doral in 2015:

 

 

By the way, McIlroy did make par at the 16th hole and was even par for the tournament. 

July 16, 2016 - 12:10pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
Bill Haas, postage stamp, royal troon, open championship
Twitter / TheOpen
Bill Haas is taking advantage of moving day, staying near the top of the leaderboard with shots like this hole out from the bunker at the famous "postage stamp" hole.

It's moving day at the Open Championship, and Bill Haas is moving.

The famous "postage stamp" eighth hole at Royal Troon is set up as only 100 yards today, but is playing as one of the toughest holes on the entire course. The front bunker is swallowing up almost every ball that dares to challenge the flag, and has proven to not allow many easy up-and-downs.

However, it was no problem for Haas. He continued his strong day with an unlikely birdie from the front bunker.

 

 

 

Haas has never placed even in the top 10 of a major before. Is this his week?

 

July 16, 2016 - 11:58am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tony Finau
@TheOpen
The Postage Stamp -- playing just 100 yards on Saturday -- was not kind to Tony Finau. After what looked like a brilliant tee shot turned ugly in a matter of seconds.

Tony Finau hit one of the best shots of the day at Royal Troon's famed par-3 eighth -- the Postage Stamp -- in the third round of the Open Championship on Saturday... that is until it wasn't.

Playing just 100 yards, check out how this Finau tee shot hits the cup only to find a sandy grave in the right greenside pot bunker:

 

 

Brutal.

Finau, coming off a double bogey on No. 7, would bogey the eighth. He was 1 over for the day and 3 under for the tournament through nine holes. 

July 16, 2016 - 11:56am
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
andrew johnston, beef johnston, beef beard
Instagram / beefgolf
Andrew "Beef" Johnston's video on Saturday morning with his five-year-old niece was his cutest and funniest yet.

Whether it's the beard, the nickname, or the infectious smile, Andrew "Beef" Johnston is a fan favorite.

Following him on the golf course is fun, but following him on social media is where the real entertainment comes out. Most of the time, you can find him living up to his name by posting pictures of him just devouring large amounts of beef.

 

Thank you @kenstewartsrestaurants for the tomahawk last night.

A photo posted by Andrew 'Beef' Johnston (@beefgolf) on

 

But lately he's been on a real hot streak. He grabbed headlines starting a few weeks ago at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, when he actually teed up a cheeseburger and smashed it with his driver.

 

So this happened today!

A video posted by Andrew 'Beef' Johnston (@beefgolf) on

 
 

Next he revealed to us the story behind his one-of-a-kind nickname. It may not be the epic story we were expecting, but between Johnson's accent and giggling I still got a kick out of hearing it.

 

 

But Beef's video from Saturday morning was the best yet. By far.

His five-year-old niece got to do what we've all probably wanted to, and that's play with his beard. She wasn't shy about her criticism however, calling it "hairy" and "lumpy."

How great is this?

 

This is Wat I did yesterday afternoon. My niece is funny

A video posted by Andrew 'Beef' Johnston (@beefgolf) on