By Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – July 27, 2015) — With scriptures running through his head, Zach Johnson became only one of six golfers to win the Masters at Augusta and the British Open at St. Andrew’s when he beat two others in playoffs for the coveted Claret Jug on July 20.
“I was patient,” said the 39-year-old from Cedars Rapids, Iowa. “I had some Scripture going in my head. I thank the Lord. I thank my friends. I thank my family. I’m just in awe right now. I feel like God gave me the ability to play a game. I’m just a guy from Iowa who’s been blessed with a talent, and this game provided great opportunity.”
Among PGA players, Johnson is not known for killing the ball; he drives 280 yards per stroke. Nor is he the pinpoint putter. But he prepares diligently. When rain postponed a whole day of play, he was practicing wedge shots with his caddie, gauging differing wind conditions.
And he kept calm, remembering Psalm 27:14 throughout his play on the legendary Old Course: “Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart.”
The Word of God is his anchor. “I’m a Christian guy, and when it comes to my priorities, it’s the utmost,” Johnson said. “For me, just to calm myself down, to keep my perspective when I’m playing, to not make too big a deal of it. That’s where I go. The peace that comes with that allows me to play free golf.”
The expert wedge shots served him well in the final stretch holding off two playoff competitors. But Johnson doesn’t chalk up the victory to his professional acumen.
He credits God – and his wife.
“Kim’s my rock,” he said. “She’s the one that I can trust with anything. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, she’s always there.”
Photo caption: Zach Johnson with his latest award.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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