The European Tour's spectacular shootout event was taking place ahead of this week's Sky Sports British Masters and pitted fan favourite Beef against tournament host Justin Rose, defending British Masters champion Paul Dunne, another home favourite in Matt Wallace and Danish Ryder Cup heroes Thomas Bjørn and Thorbjørn Olesen.
The South Dock at Canary Wharf provided a stunning backdrop of skyscrapers, with fans lining the area all around the water where the specially built target platform was floating.
Vernon Kay played host, introducing our stars as twilight turned to dark in a thrilling contest that saw Johnston crowned the sixth Hero Challenge champion.
“To do it in front of the home fans is always good,” he said. “I always get great support wherever I go but London is special because it's my home.
“When we started warming up and hitting a few it felt like quite a nice comfortable distance even though it was difficult to land it on there. It's a small target, anything left was rolling off and anything a bit long bounced straight over so I had to be patient.”
The players were split into two groups, with each player having six balls to score as many points as they could, and the top two players from each group advancing to the semi-fnals.
In Group One, there was a feel of the Ryder Cup as every Johnston practice swing was met with a cheer by the crowd but the popular Englishman put his first shot in the water.
He spun the ball back for 20 points with his second shot but failed to score with his final four and the target was set.
Wallace put his first two balls in the water and the five scored with his third were his only points, meaning that was the score Rose had to beat to advance.
The World Number Two took no time in beating it and did so in spectacular style, almost pitching straight into the hole and securing 50 points.
A 15 and a 20 followed and when Rose found the water with his next the crowd even gave him some good-natured pantomime boos before he finished with a sensational score of 90.
In Group Two, Ryder Cup Captain Bjørn got the biggest cheer of the night so far and while he missed with his first five, a score of 20 with his last ball kept him in the mix.
Dunne scored a 25 with his second ball to advance and added a ten with his last but when Olesen missed with his first four, Bjørn was still in the mix.
The Italian Open champion would not be denied, however, and spun his fifth ball back for the second bullseye of the night and a place in the semi-finals.
Rose and Dunne did rock-paper-scissors for the honour in their semi-final, with the Irishman winning, but both men missed with their first three balls.
Dunne scored ten with his fourth and 20 with his last, leaving Rose needing a bullseye but he could only record a 15.
Nobody has ever won the masters par 3 and gone on to win the tournament......JUST SAYING 🏴🏴😀😀😀— Matt Wallace (@mattsjwallace) October 9, 2018
In the second semi-final, Olesen scored 15 with his opener and Johnston matched it with his fourth before the 29 year old scored another 15 with his final ball to advance.
Dunne got on the board first in the final, scoring a five with his second ball, but Johnson registered a 20 with his fifth and when Dunne came up short with his last, we had our champion.
Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & CEO of Hero MotoCorp Ltd – the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – then presented the trophy to Johnston as he joined Alexander Levy, Lee Westwood, Patrick Reed, Li Haotong and Matt Kuchar as a Hero Challenge champion.
“It was a great way to kick off the week,” said Rose. “It was high energy and to see so many people come out and support it, there was a little bit of a Ryder Cup aftermath feel out there, with Olé, Olé, Olés and just having a good time.
“To be in the bright lights of London, iconic buildings all around us, and to be at Canary Wharf was a great way to start the week.”