Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has revealed that he nearly walked off the course at Australian PGA Championship last year while struggling with mental health issues.
In a candid blog post for the European Tour, Beef describes his struggles over the past year revealing that behind that contagious smile and wonderful personality are some personal mental health issues.
Johnston describes a difficult time in Australia late last year including a challenging time at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast where he finished in a tie for ninth place.
I nearly walked off the course at the Australian PGA Championship a few weeks later. It was the end of last year on the Gold Coast, I hit two bad shots, and I couldn’t mentally handle it at all. I had no idea what was going on. I was so angry, so wound up, which is really unlike me. I came off there and cried. I knew then that something wasn’t right.
And earlier this year Johnston was back in Australia to play the Vic Open and the World Super 6 in Perth where he again he opened up about his struggles that saw him struggle to even get to the golf course.
I got to Australia and on the first day at the Vic Open I played lovely and shot 66. On the second day, I couldn’t even write numbers in my yardage book. I was writing everything backwards, the numbers backwards. I didn’t know what was going on. I shot 77 and missed the cut.
I flew to Perth, then went to go to the course and I just said, ‘I can’t do it’. I went back to the hotel room and just thought ‘I’m not going to play’. So I pulled out.
While it sounds like things have recently improved for Johnston, it takes a courageous man not just to fight these mental demons but to speak openly about them in this way.
We wish Beef all the best with this battle which can effect anyone. Even the most gregarious, warmest of people.
On a side note, I work at a place who have launched a wonderful campaign to raise money for mental health research.