Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson currently ranks seventh on the PGA’s money list, earning more than $3 million this year alone. He has a green jacket after winning the 2007 Masters. He has a street named after him in Cedar Rapids. He also hosts the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic (carried live on KCRG 9.2) at Elmcrest County Club that raised more than $1 million for the charity Kids on Course last year.
But those accomplishments don’t qualify him for a primo balcony seat at the North Liberty Recreation Center for the summer Prime Time League, which includes Iowa and other men’s basketball players. Johnson, who is an avid Iowa sports fan, attended Sunday’s session with his son. Early in the first game Johnson walked to the second floor viewing area, which is off limits for all non-media.
Within minutes, an employee told Johnson the area was for media only. Johnson agreed to leave but it wasn’t fast enough for the employee, who offered to escort him out of the media area. A reporter tried to tell the employee about Johnson, but the employee cited the center’s rules and told the reporter he could talk with a center supervisor if there was a problem. Johnson complied without incident and left the second floor.
Johnson afterward socialized with a few Iowa players and inauspiciously ended up sitting on the floor for the second game with the Gatens family next the court because no seats were available. Johnson may be a celebrity to most in Eastern Iowa, but at the North Liberty Recreation Center he’s just another spectator.