INCHEON, South Korea – Zach Johnson has been the ultimate utility player for both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup captains for nearly a decade with a steady game and a relaxed demeanor that fits well with most potential partners.
On Thursday, after the U.S. team scorched the International side to take an early 4-1 lead, Johnson admitted that he and Phil Mickelson - with whom Johnson teamed to beat Jason Day and Steven Bowditch, 2 up - had wanted to be teammates for some time.
U.S. captain Jay Haas relented and paired the two together on Day 1 for the first time, but before they teed off Johnson explained to Mickelson that he’s not like many of Lefty’s other partners.
“Phil can be a pretty energetic guy. He likes to let some stuff out, and I'm a pretty mellow guy out there,” Johnson explained. “I said, rather than getting up there and doing a chest bump or the big 'ol whatever, we just kept it simple. Just a nice, classy handshake when things went well.”
The understated celebration worked well on Thursday, so much so Haas paired the two together again for Friday’s fourball session.