Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2018: Andrew 'Beef' Johnston happy to swap nights out for quiet ones in with Netflix

Englishman admits burning the candle at both ends affected his golf but is in contention going into Sunday's final round at the National Course three shots off the lead

England's Andrew Johnston follows his ball on the 16th hole during the third round of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
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The problem with being golf’s Mr Sociable is that it can detract from your golf game.

Andrew “Beef” Johnston certainly found that out the hard way, since his rising celebrity this past year in particular began to take its toll on his day job.

In a nights-getting-too-long sort of way.

“Last year was crazy and getting distracted and things like that, and you don't know it's happened until you've finished the season,” said Johnston, whose world ranking has slipped more than 100 places to 186th.

“You're off doing things and you're burning the candle at both ends.

“It reflected in my golf and I was disappointed looking back at it. I want to turn that around and have a good season.”


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:


That New Year’s resolution looks to be paying off already. On Saturday, Johnson posted a 6-under-par 66 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA, to move to 14-under for the tournament - his first outing of 2018.

As a result, he heads into Sunday’s final round at the National Course tied-sixth and only three shots off joint-leaders Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters. Clearly, the about-turn in his personal life is reaping rewards professionally.

“When I got back from last season, had time to reflect on it, I sort of said to myself, ‘you've got to keep quiet and keep disciplined and get on with your work’,” the hugely popular Johnston said. “I came out here a week early to Dubai and drove down. It's been good prep.”

Eying a second European Tour victory, and first since April 2016, Saturday night's prep is rather less taxing.

“Just chill out, man,” he said. “Going to go and relax. Probably watch Netflix for a bit, something like that and get some room service and relax.”