Senator Chuck Grassley will introduce a resolution today honoring Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson, who won the prestigious Masters golf tournament Sunday, the first Iowan to do so.
Grassley says he rarely watches golf, but caught the last nine holes of this match on t.v. to see the 31-year-old Johnson win the coveted green jacket, and $1.3 million. "My Senate resolution will congratulate Zach Johnson on his big victory, note his strong Iowa roots, being born in Iowa City, growing up in Cedar Rapids and going to college in Des Moines, and recognize the Midwestern humility he demonstrated after he won that on Sunday," Grassley says.
Johnson’s win at Augusta National in Georgia marks the first time an Iowan has clinched a major golf tournament since Jack Fleck, of Davenport, won the US Open in 1955. "He’s an outstanding ambassador for the people of Iowa and a tribute to the friends and family who believe in him and helped him achieve his victory on this recent Sunday," Grassley says.
The mayor of Cedar Rapids has proclaimed today Zach Johnson Day. Governor Chet Culver issued the following statement on Sunday evening: "Zach Johnson has made Iowa proud. Watching him win and humbly put on the famed green jacket, it is clear he carries himself like a true champion on and off the golf course. Zach showed the world what true Iowa resolve and toughness is all about by winning the 2007 Masters under such challenging conditions.
"As a fellow graduate of the former Regis high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s First Lady, Mari, is also extremely proud Zach’s incredible accomplishment."
One sports marketer says with his Midwestern nice-guy image, Johnson should be able to nail up to ten-million dollars in endorsements almost immediately.
A virtual unknown before, Johnson appeared on the David Letterman show Monday night and this morning on "Live with Regis and Kelly."