'Beef' raring to go: Andrew Johnston targets further success after Open

Londoner Andrew 'Beef' Johnston is determined to kick on from his first top-10 finish in a major.

Eighth place at Royal Troon improved his world ranking to 89th from 104, good enough to secure him a place at next week's US PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

The only minor disappointment to come out of a hugely positive experience in South Ayrshire was that at one stage on the final day he was in third place. Had he held on to that position, it would have also guaranteed him a spot at next year's Masters and a world ranking of 60.

In the end he missed out on a share of third by just two shots, but he remains upbeat.

"I never see it like that (a disappointment)," said the 27-year-old, who finished joint 54th in last month's US Open with his only other major appearance being a missed cut at Royal St George's in 2011.

"I just see it as 'we're going to go to the next tournament and will prepare well and tee it up again'.

"It's another really good confidence boost to finish top 10 in majors so I'm going to try to use it positively and not sit back on it.

"Work hard. That's what I said in Spain (after his first European Tour win in April). There's no point in sitting back and saying 'Oh, I've done this, I've done that'.

"We've got to try to do this and try to get into this event and do this so I'm always looking forward, never looking back."

Johnston banked the biggest cheque of his professional career, £170,000, but that is almost a minor consideration in comparison to the experience he gained and the confidence it gave him.

"I'm still going to be the same person. I've never seen it as being life-changing," he added.

It is that down-to-earth attitude which helped cement his place as a fans' favourite at Royal Troon.

He has become an unlikely role model for a new generation of would-be golfers keen to take the game a little less seriously from time to time.

"Just have fun, man. Just play with your mates, do what you want to do," he said.

"You see it at my golf club - people want to play and practise and get their handicaps down.

"Some have had a hard week at work and they want to go out and have a few beers and stuff on the course and I don't think that's a bad thing either.

"As long as everyone's kind of playing and having fun in their own way, I think that's what you've got to do."

On the serious side, Johnston's name has been mentioned as a potential Ryder Cup candidate for this September but he is still a long way from that with just one European Tour victory, the Open de Espana, to his name.

He is hovering around 25th place on both the European and world points list and would need another good showing at the US PGA next week plus some other decent results to stand a chance.

It seems unlikely captain Darren Clarke would gamble on the rookie as a wild card pick.

"Obviously when he won at Valderrama he showed everybody he can play but he's coming from such a long way behind from where the other guys already had a head start on him," said Clarke.

"He needs a good US PGA to get him somewhere up there in the rankings.

"There's only a certain amount of places that I would go down to considering in terms of a pick so because he's still quite a way outside those points, no (he would not be selected).

"There is a line in my mind that I wouldn't really go below a certain number looking at picks."

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