The winner of this year’s Open golf tournament has given thanks to God for giving him his sporting talent.
American Zach Johnson, who came from behind to win in a closely contested finale, said that he had been reciting verses from the Bible to stay focussed.
His words strike a similar chord to those of fellow American golfing champion Bubba Watson, who thanked his “Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” after winning the Masters.
I thank the Lord
Johnson told reporters: “I was reading bits of scripture to myself, things like Psalm 24:7”, which reads, “Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”
He continued: “I’ve been reading them all week. I thank God for the talent he’s given me, and I take it seriously.”
After his win, Johnson told reporters that in the close final stages of the tournament: “I was standing there, honestly I was reciting some scripture that I have in my book just to kind of keep me in the moment. I was doing it all day, all week, and I was getting prepared”.
“I had some scripture going in my head and I thank the Lord”, he said.
The golfer has a history of speaking openly about his faith.
After winning the Masters in 2007, he told the waiting media: “regardless of what happened, my responsibility was to glorify God. Hopefully, I did”.
The golfer refers to his pre-Christian life as “my blind years” and says that his faith is “all that matters”.
Before his Masters victory last year, Bubba Watson was encouraged to read Philippians 4:11: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”.
Following his win, he tweeted: “Wow. I can’t believe I have another @The_Masters green jacket! Such an honor. #Rejoicing”.