Fan favorite Andrew Johnston is beloved in the golf world for his marquee smile and crazy beard. The burly Englishman is also commonly referred to as simply, “Beef ” – one of the best nicknames in all of sports.
Whatever tournament Johnston is playing in, chants of “Beef” are audible from the gallery. Even at the usually traditional Open Championship, Johnston is now formally known by his catchy nickname.
The 28-year-old was introduced by the Open’s starter as Beef to get Friday’s round going in place of his given name of Andrew, drawing chuckles from onlookers as well as the broadcast booth. Of course, before Johnston could even tee up his ball to hit his opening drive, fans started loudly yelling, “Beeeeeeeeeef.”
The man introducing Johnston, however, is a relatively new face to The Open.
After the 2015 Open at Saint Andrews, longtime European Tour starter and folk hero Ivor Robson retired after he had handled the job since 1975 at Carnoustie. He become synonymous with The Open for his over four decades of service to the tournament and unique voice from Dumfriesshire.
To fill the shoes of the legendary Robson, the R&A brought in David Lancaster who is now overseeing his second Open as starter. The Lancashire, England native fittingly runs a company that helps train people in public speaking.
On Friday, Lancaster put his unique fingerprints on The Open thanks to good old Beef Johnston.