Andrew Johnston (England) is in India with plans to take on a powerful field. He spoke at the Hero Indian Open 2018 about his expectations.
Q: Welcome to Delhi, Beef. Nice to see you here. It’s your first time at this tournament, but is it your first time in India too?
Yeah it’s my first time in India. I’m really looking forward to the week, and trying to explore Delhi a little it as well.
Q: I think you said that Shiv Kapur promised that he would show you the best places to eat. Have you been out for dinner with him yet?
Not yet. I got in this morning. I just saw him now and we said that however the tee times are we’ll try to work something out. He said he’ll show me the best places – unless I’m playing well…
Q: Tell us about the whole Indian experience so far, Beef.
It’s been great. I got off the plane, came through security, everyone was really friendly, really nice. I couldn’t find my golf clubs, asked someone and they pointed me in the right direction. Everyone has been really helpful. When we got out the airport transfer was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. We had a real good chat on the way from the airport to the hotel. I went straight in and ordered the vegetable biryani for breakfast or lunch, I’m not sure which. We’ll call it brunch. I loved it.
Andrew Johnston is in India with plans to take on food & fairways
I’m just amazed at how everyone drives here. It’s incredible. There’s no way you would get me to drive here. No way.
Tell us about your game Beef. Last week must have bee snowed out, but what have you been doing to prepare?
It’s been a bit of a frustrating couple of weeks. I had a lesson the first week I was home on the Thursday, I was trying to gear up to practice last week so I haven’t really done too much. I’ve spent a bit of time in the gym, so I’ve been looking forward to getting back out in the sun, getting some practice done in the sun tis afternoon and tomorrow to get ready for this week.
Q: Tell us a bit about your career so far.
The last four or five years have been crazy. To start off at the little golf course I played when I was a kid, and to have ended up playing Majors – and doing well in Majors – playing European Tour and a bit on the PGA Tour as well it’s been absolutely crazy. How the madness has come about and how much fun people have had watching me play, it’s just been something that I’ll ever forget. It’s still, every time I step on the tee and people are shouting “Beeeef” it still amazes me, because I would never have expected something like that to happen. It’s been insane.
Q: You’ve played in Europe, you’ve played in America, can you compare the two experiences.
Playing in Europe, well, you’re actually playing world wide. The travelling is a lot tougher. You’ll go to the PGA Tour and they’ll have the LA swing, the Florida swing, and the travel is so easy. But, every week is going to be pretty much the same. Obviously it’s a different course, but you get off the plane and you’ll see a Target, a Walmart every time. Where in Europe, you’re going to different places and seeing more of the world.
To come over to India, it’s something amazing. You get to play a different golf course with a totally different aspect of play. It’s not like going from Texas to South Carolina. You’re going from Australia, to India, to Oman, to Malaysia. So to see different parts of the world is absolutely amazing and we’re lucky that we get to travel and see so much.
Q: What about the food?
I love the food, pretty much everywhere. Here’s I’ve just had the veg biryani so far, but I’ll be trying a lot.
Q: What have you heard about the course?
It’s difficult. And it’s even more difficult in the wind.
Q: What is your philosophy when it comes to fans? What makes you such a big hit with them?
As I said before, I’m just so happy and blessed really to have that support. It’s just been incredible. To see people come off and be happy and want to have a selfie, it makes me happy as well. I just want to bounce off it. It’s good to see people have a good time and a good day.
What has amazed me so much is, I’ve had kids come up, I’ve had 70 year old women come up, a bunch of lads. It’s been such a variety of people, it’s just been amazing. To spend a minute with a person, have a chat, take a selfie, hopefully they remember it and come back to more golf tournaments.
Q: What are your other interests?
Football is a big interest of mine, not as much at the moment as Arsenal aren’t doing very well. All sports really – I love my boxing, cricket, pretty much any sport.
Q: What is your favourite dish?
That’s a tough one. I don’t have a favourite, there’s too many.
Q: Coming back to the game, what are your targets this year?
Definitely to try to win again. Obviously, I want to be in the top 60 to play in the final Race to Dubai tournaments. Really, it’s to get another win on the board. I played well at the start of the year so I’ve just got to keep that going and keep working hard because I’ve played really well the first couple of months.