Zach Johnson has often referred to himself as just an ordinary man from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Family and faith are the pillars in his life. Polite as the day is long. Laid-back, approachable, considerate, charitable. A down-to-earth spirit that seldom leaves him, his Midwestern values, if you will, always at the ready.
But Johnson sells himself short, especially when it comes to the emerald stages across the world where he’s done his work. With a green jacket in a locker in the Champions Locker Room at Augusta National and a Claret Jug on his mantle, as well as 10 pieces of hardware saluting his other 10 PGA Tour titles, the word extraordinary would aptly apply in reference to Johnson.
When he won the 2015 Open Championship, he joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo as the only players to win the Masters and a British Open on the Old Course.
That certainly isn’t ordinary. Now add Ryder Cup captain to his resume.
Johnson, 46, was officially named the captain of the 2023 Ryder Cup for Team USA Monday at PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Johnson has played in the Ryder Cup five times (8-7-2 record) and the Presidents Cup four times (10-6-1). He’s also been an assistant captain the past two editions of the Ryder Cup and will be the 30th captain for Team USA.
His task in 2023? To end the USA’s 30-year drought on foreign soil in the 44th edition of the biennial matches against Europe at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy.
“It’s a great choice. Him being involved with the last couple of teams, being a player many times, is important. He’s a fierce competitor,” said Steve Stricker, who captained the Americans to a historic 19-9 win at Whistling Straits before spending weeks in the hospital. “As a player, he finds a way to get it done. He’s got a little bulldog mentality. All the guys know that about Zach. He’s a fighter. He’s the right guy to go overseas leading the team.”