Andrew ‘Beef Johnston has opened up about his mental health struggles following a rapid ascent in the game that made him a crowd favourite on both sides of the Atlantic.
After winning his maiden DP World Tour title in the 2016 Open de Espana and finishing T8 at The Open the same year, Johnston’s new-found fame took a toll, and in 2019 he revealed his mental health struggles, which led to him pulling out of tournaments.
Now, the Englishman has spoken to former Wales soccer star Robbie Savage about his struggles for the DP World Tour in support of the BMW PGA Championship’s charity sponsor, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Johnston explained that, in the early days of his fame, he put too much pressure on himself to perform alongside the game’s biggest names. He said: “All of a sudden, I would stand on a range next to your Rory’s or Ricky Fowler’s, whoever it was, and I’d be like, ‘this is ridiculous, I’m not supposed to be here’.
“The pressure I put on myself after that and I had to try and win every week, which is just so unrealistic. But I didn’t know that was happening. So, the more pressure I’ve put on myself, the worse I played, the more wound up I got, the more pressure I felt because I wasn’t performing. It was like a big sort of rabbit hole or spiral, you could have called it, to the point where you couldn’t get me on a golf course.”
Injuries also took their toll, including to a thumb sustained in November 2021 that sidelined him for over a year. Eventually, he made a comeback in January’s Dubai Desert Classic and performed well, making the cut before eventually finishing T38.
However, his return to the game didn’t last long and he underwent surgery the following week in Singapore.
Following that surgery, Johnston is now close to a comeback, but he revealed it initially left him questioning whether he would play again. He said: “There have been periods of time, especially after I had surgery in Singapore where you question, are you going to play again?”
He also revealed his time in Singapore led to his lowest point while in his…