Robert Bazal – nickname ‘American Beef’ – has been flown out by Johnston along with his wife on an all-expenses trip to the Open after they met at the US Open at Erin Hills last month.
The Londoner, who finished eighth in last year’s Open, had found the reception he had received from fans in the States overwhelming and wanted to give something back in return.
“My main plan was just to try and get a picture with Beef – to get Beef and American Beef together,” explained Bazal.
“He was like, ‘Oh, we’ve got something a little better than that for you’, and he pulls out an envelope.
“In the envelope was the invitation, and I was just shocked.
“I couldn’t say anything, I was just looking at it and reading it like five times trying to realise what it was actually saying.
“I didn’t even have a passport at the time. I had to fast-track that.
“My wife hadn’t updated hers since we got married, so she had to fast-track hers as well.”
The pair will be in place in the horseshoe stand around the first tee at 11.36am as Johnston tees off.