Unheralded Iowa pros who have won majors isn't exactly a cottage industry, but the category doubled in the past 24 hours with Zach Johnson's unlikely victory at the 2007 Masters.
“I'm just a Midwest guy from Iowa,” said Johnson in Butler Cabin after his stirring come-from-behind victory.
Of course, Jack Fleck is the other Iowan who stunned the golf world when he beat Ben Hogan at the 1955 U.S. Open in San Francisco. Fleck's best finish at Augusta was 11th in 1962.
I talked to Jack Fleck on Friday. I was at the office wrapping up my work week. Jack was at home in Arkansas watching the Masters and describing the action to yours truly. Like everyone else, we discussed the brutally difficult conditions at Augusta National. The only mention of Zach Johnson came when Jack described Zach's frustrating missed putts from short range on one of the holes during his Friday round. Little did we know.
This morning when I got to the office I had a voice mail from Jack Fleck recorded Sunday evening.
“Neil, happy Easter. Zach Johnson, from Iowa, won the Masters.”
The Armchair Golfer
Tomorrow: Pat Perez Interview, Part 1
Double P talks about coming back from injuries, 2007 goals, John Daly and more.