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Johnston boxing clever at 2020 English Championship

Johnston boxing clever at 2020 English Championship

Andrew Johnston revealed that boxing has helped him cope with the return of competitive golf as he posted a sparkling 65 on day two of the 2020 English Championship.

Andrew Johnston

The popular and ever candid Englishman withdrew from the opening event of the UK Swing at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, admitting he initially struggled with the new tournament protocols, which are governed by the Tour's comprehensive health strategy.

His welcome return at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & CC saw him post an opening 66 and he added a bogey free effort on day two to put him right in contention heading into the weekend.

The man known as Beef opened up about struggles with his mental health in a European Tour Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car last July, revealing that he was working with a psychologist to try and manage the pressures of being one of the most recognisable figures in the game.

The 31-year-old described his first impression of life in the tournament bubble two weeks ago as an "overload" but after some reflection and physical exertion in the gym, the 31-year-old is once again enjoying life on Tour.

"A couple of weeks ago I just wasn’t prepared for it," he said. "I thought it was going to be quite a bit different and I came in and it sort of just got to me, it was like an overload and I really struggled. 

"I took a week to kind of reflect on it, and think about heading back in to play because I want to play and I was a lot more prepared. 

"I think the best thing I’ve done in between that gap is I started boxing again. Just seeing one of the guys Charles down in North Finchley, I’ve known him for years, and I just gave him a text and said, 'look I need to come in and box and he made some time for me'. 

"I’ve been a couple times in that break and it’s been so good for my head, really. It’s just bag work, pad work, but I say I want to learn straight off the basics, I don’t care if I have to do something a hundred times, I just want the technique and learn more about boxing because I love it.

I’ve been a couple times in that break and it’s been so good for my head

"It’s been really good, it sets that kind of mentality for me so I just try to take it straight out the boxing ring on to the golf course, basically. It’s that same kind of mentality and it works well for me so I’ve just got to keep trying to force that mentality and keep doing it."

The biggest change in Johnston's life since last summer has been the arrival of daughter Harley, and the 2016 Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation champion admits fatherhood has given him another new perspective.

"When you become a dad you gain a different perspective no doubt about it," he said. "If you have a bad day at the course or something and you come back and your little one is there and you’re playing, you forget about golf and you realise that there’s a lot more important things. 

"It balances you out I think. I love it."

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