Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has quickly and unsurprisingly become a huge hit with golf fans. His nonchalant demeanor and fun personality set him apart from the rest, which makes this news hard to swallow.
Beef withdrew from the PGA Championship before finishing his first round on Thursday due to a shoulder injury, ending the day with a 78. Since getting his Tour card in September on National Cheeseburger Day (yeah that happened), the Englishman has been having a hard time keeping up.
He attracts a younger audience because of comments like this: “A few, um, sodas,” Johnston said bursting into laughter after winning his Tour card. “Maybe a Coke and a Fanta or something like that. No, no, there’s going to be a few beers, man.”
Bunker technique ? from @BeefGolf ?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) June 13, 2017
But since making the Tour this season, he has only had one top-10 finish. Beef would need a really good finish at the Wyndham Championship next week to secure a 2017-’18 card, but this injury makes this possibility seem unlikely. If he misses the cut or ends his season here, he will have to make it through the Web.com Tour Finale Series for a second year to retain his Tour card.
With Arby’s becoming the first official restaurant sponsor of the PGA Tour via Beef, it would be a shame to see the Brit fall behind. The coverage is littered with Beef’s new commercial with the food chain, and of course it’s beyond amusing.
This might be the first time the PGA Tour has correctly targeted the millennial audience they so desperately need to break through to grow the game. With Beef’s withdrawal and possible Tour card loss, the sport could see a dip it wouldn’t normally otherwise.
Thankfully we’ve seen some extraordinary golf opening the last major of the season, although that’s changing too. Hopefully, players like Rickie Fowler will keep pushing the boundaries and keep the elusive millennial audience engaged.