PGA Tour

Zach Johnson takes pride in new field of dreams: Iowa's golf hall

Zach Johnson at WGC-Dell Match Play.
Zach Johnson at WGC-Dell Match Play. ( Getty Images )

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Since winning the British Open last summer, Zach Johnson has been asked frequently about where he thinks he might stand regarding the World Golf Hall of Fame. After all, two majors often is a criterion used by supporters of a hall candidate. Johnson, 40, owns a Claret Jug to go with his green jacket, among 12 PGA Tour victories.

To his credit, Johnson cites logical reasons to step clear of the topic: 1) Too young, especially now that the minimum age has been raised to 50 unless a player no longer is active; 2) Plenty of career left; 3) Not his call anyway.

But then there’s good reason to change the subject: He’s already in a golf hall of fame.

Well, not quite “in,” because the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame induction “won’t be until (early June), but I’ll be there,” Johnson said.

Proud of his Iowa roots, Johnson, an Iowa City native who was raised in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, said it was a great honor, especially because it came on his first year of eligibility. He noted that he won’t be the first member of his “team” to be enshrined. Johnson’s longtime swing coach, Mike Bender, was inducted in 2010.

Other prominent members of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame include Jack Fleck, who stunned Ben Hogan at the 1955 U.S. Open; Dave Rummells, who played the PGA Tour for a dozen years; and Mike McCoy, a dominant amateur player who has competed in the 2014 Masters and 38 USGA championships.

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