Johnston wows British Masters crowd
Photo Source: PAA
Fan favourite Andrew Johnston had the galleries eating out of the palm of his hand with a buccaneering second round of 65 that included eight birdies at the British Masters.
An 11,000 crowd turned up at The Grove and most seemed to be rooting for the player affectionately known as Beef after he surged to within one stroke of leader and fellow Englishman Richard Bland (64).
"The fans have been amazing," the bearded Johnston said after his 10-under tally of 132 earned a share of second position alongside Swede Alex Noren (65).
"I have a good relationship with the crowds. I just have a good time with them, all the kids, all the people, coming up and asking for pictures and to sign stuff.
"Some guy last night asked me to sign his forehead so I put a big 'Beef' across it and took a picture," he said.
Johnston won a host of admirers around the world for the smiling way he interacted with the fans while finishing eighth in the British Open at Troon in July.
He may be an idiosyncratic showman but the 27-year-old can also produce some golfing fireworks.
Johnston started at the 10th hole on Friday and three times made inroads on par on his outward half before a crackerjack back nine saw him pick up five birdies and two bogeys.
The world No. 79 is now demanding the galleries continue their vociferous support over the weekend.
"What I want to hear is 'Beef'," said Johnston whose one previous European Tour victory came at the Spanish Open in April. "Just keep it up because I'm loving it."
Lee Westwood was among a group on 135 but fellow former world No.1 and tournament host Luke Donald missed the cut.
"The crowds have been great, the course is in fantastic condition, you should have no excuse," said Donald.
"The greens are absolutely perfect. Unfortunately I'll be watching over the weekend and not playing which is disappointing."