Zach Johnson Classic

Zach Johnson, Chair of the Zach Johnson Foundation and 2007 Masters Champion

I had the privilege of attending the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic in July this year. Who is Zach Johnson? Well, he is a professional golfer on the PGA tour and just happens to be the 2007 Masters champion. When he came from nowhere and won the Masters that year, he humbly said to the throngs of media that he was just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, IA. Since then, Zach has gone on to win multiple PGA tournaments, most recently the John Deere Classic held just 2 weeks before his own foundation Classic this year. I was there at TPC Deere Run on the tournaments closing Sunday, and saw him win in dramatic sudden death playoff fashion. Unfortunately, my camera was not because the PGA doesn’t allow that. But Zach’s foundation graciously allowed cameras at the ZJF Classic, so I’d like to share some images I shot from that day with you.

When you hear Zach speak, it doesn’t take long to realize that, while the Masters defined him as a PGA professional, he is really a humble, caring guy doing all that God’s will provides. Zach is a man of strong Christian faith, which I also admire and share. He is also a very strong witness of his faith and does not hesitate to give God all the glory in his own accomplishments. But Zach also accomplishes things off the golf course. In particular, he has created a vibrant charity to benefit the local kids and their schools here in Cedar Rapids. The Zach Johnson Foundation has 2 main programs – Birdies that Care and Kids on Course. You can read more about them and donate to them here.

The Zach Johnson Foundation Classic is an annual pro-am golf event that raises money and awareness for his foundation. Many PGA Tour professionals and celebrities (friends of Zach’s) participate in the pro-am contest alongside Zach and have a lot of fun on the course. Each year the ZJF Classic is held in Zach’s hometown of Cedar Rapids and at the course he honed his skills on – Elmcrest Country Club. In the Elmcrest clubhouse, his Masters Green Jacket hangs proudly on display alongside other memorabilia depicting Zach the golfer. Here are some of the images I captured that hot day in July 2012.

Here is Zach on the 18th hole, with one of his playing partners, Steve Gray. Steve is an executive for a local telecommunications company.
Zach pulls a youngster from the gallery to assist him in reading this putt. Zach spent an average of 10 minutes on each hole signing autographs, mainly from young admirers whom he benefits.
Damon Green, Zach’s long time caddie and great golfer in his own right, bumps knuckles with his playing partner after a successfully made putt. Damon is quite a character.
One of Zach’s tour buddies is Stewart Cink. Stewart is the 2009 British Open Champion and is an extremely close friend of Zach on and off the tour.
Ben Crane, another one of Zach’s close friends on tour also helped with the golf clinic held in the morning before the players teed off.
Stewart and Ben present Zach with a vastly oversized ball mark during the clinic. This was all done in jest, poking fun at Zach for nearly losing tournament due to a penalty stroke he incurred for misplacing his ball mark at the final hole of the 2012 Colonial.
Bo Van Pelt, another PGA Tour pro, also participated at the ZJF Classic.
Among the local celebrities participating was my all-time favorite Iowa Hawkeye, Tim Dwight. Tim returned a kick for a touchdown in the Super Bowl in his rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons. Here, Tim is on the tee box yelling that famous one syllable word for an errant golf shot. Sorry, Tim.
Here is the tee shot from Alfonso Ribeiro. Alfonso is best known for his role as Carlton Banks on TV’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. Can you do “the Carlton?”
I agree, Zach. It was a great day.
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3 Comments Add yours

  1. lora winter says:

    I am also a great fan of Zach and all that he represents. Great tournament and also nice seeing everyone who participated at Elmcrest. We survived the heat!

    1. webcentrick says:

      Thanks for the comment and for stopping by my little slice of the word wide web.

  2. webcentrick says:

    Reblogged this on The View From Kinnick 138 and commented:

    In honor of it being Master’s Week I am reblogging a post I did of Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s own Zach Johnson. This post is full of shots I took of Zach last year at his Foundation Classic event and blogged about it on my general photography blog. Not only is Zach at the top of his game, a great man, and a former Master’s Champion, he is also an avid fan of the Hawkeyes. Pull for Zach this week at Augusta!

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