Mayville's David Johnson heckles Ryder Cup golfers, wins $100 bet by sinking putt
CHASKA, Minn.—The best golfers in the world are at Hazeltine National Golf Club for the Ryder Cup this weekend but David Johnson of Mayville, N.D., stole the show Thursday.
During a practice round, Europeans Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson were practicing a 12-foot putt. The two missed six times each, according to PGA Tour's Ben Everill.
From the spectator gallery, the 30-year-old Johnson, who grew up in New London, Minn., shouted jeers at the golfers.
Stenson went toward the crowd and pulled Johnson onto the green. He handed him a putter and golfer Justin Rose put down a $100 bill to bet Johnson wouldn't make the putt in his first try.
After Johnson, using golfer Andy Sullivan's putter, sank the putt, McIlroy hugged Johnson.
"He's the man of the hour, the day, the week," Stenson told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. "The boys were struggling with the line so Dave here offered to come out and show us how to do it. And he certainly did; drilled that 12-footer right in the back of the cup.
"Now, he can tell the whole world that the European team are the ones that have the most fun."
David's wife, Lindsey Johnson, was in her office Thursday afternoon at Mayville State, where she's in her ninth season as head volleyball coach of the Comets.
"It's pretty cool," she said. "It has kind of blown up all over."
David's cousin, Chris Cole, was in attendance with David on Thursday. Cole, of Loretto, Minn., sent a text message to Lindsey just before noon. The text included a video that said 'this just happened.'
Lindsey, who grew up in Underwood, Minn., texted back looking for the full story. Before Cole could respond, Lindsey saw the story for herself on the Golf Channel.
Lindsey described Johnson as a golf fanatic, who plays often but "certainly isn't on the PGA Tour."
"This is a dream come true for him," she said.
David, Lindsey said, is a big fan of McIlroy, who the two rooted for recently while watching him win the FedEx Cup on television.
"We just talked on the phone and he kept saying this is so crazy," Lindsey said. "He said it wouldn't be that big of a deal if he didn't make the putt, so that makes it better. I told him to just have fun."