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Posted: June 18, 2009
The 2009 U.S. Open field boasts 15 amateurs, the most since 1981. Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson played a practice round Tuesday at Bethpage with three of them.Johnson told Titleist.com that he, “thoroughly enjoyed the day. They are all great players and terrific young men.” When asked if they picked his brain during the day, Zach said, “about my equipment mostly. They have played on some big stages, so the atmosphere wasn’t so shocking to them. They were more interested in why I have the set composition I have, and what club I will use in a particular situation. They’ll be all business this week.”
Clearly these players will not be particularly awed by the atmosphere surrounding the national championship, nor sharing the tee with the proud owner of a green jacket. Zach wasn’t the only one in the group with some impressive hardware. Among Johnson’s playing partners were the 2007 British Amateur champion, the 2009 NCAA Championship runner-up, and the owner of several prestigious amateur titles. Between them the three amateurs have combined for starts in The Masters, British Open and the 2008 U.S. Open.He’s claimed six Tour wins, including the 2007 Masters, so Titleist.com asked Zach if he remembers being in their shoes. “Sure. It brought back memories of my first Open at Shinnecock; playing my practice round with Davis Love and listening to his strategy and advice,” said Johnson. “It’s how you hope it works. Someone did these things for you and now you can pass it on to the next generation of playerscoming up.”Click here to check out the set composition that Zach is using at Bethpage this week. Here's hoping it's the right formula.