CEDAR RAPIDS — A year ago, no one really knew what to expect when the first Zach Johnson Foundation Classic rolled into town.
Sure, there would be numerous professional golfers and celebrities playing 18 holes at Elmcrest Country Club. But a lot of people wondered about the crowds, the weather and what color ensemble Rickie Fowler would be wearing.
Suffice to say, the first tournament, which was televised live by KCRG 9.2, was a tremendous success with some 3,000 spectators enjoying a hot day sans rain — while Fowler donned purple.
As the second Zach Johnson Foundation Classic tees off this morning, let’s take a walk down memory lane to that first day of August 2011 …
The tournament raised around $1 million for the Kids on Course program with Zach and Kim Johnson tossing in $500,000 in matching funds.
Besides Johnson, other major champions who played in Cedar Rapids that day were Davis Love III and Stewart Cink.
Harrison Barnes, heading into his sophomore season at North Carolina, spent the day riding around in a golf cart while signing autographs and posing for photos.
Retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner returned home and probably wrote his name more than anyone. Former Major League pitcher Mike Boddicker also was there.
And, there was no shortage of former Iowa coaches and athletes as Tom Davis, Ryan Bowen, Marv Cook and Tim Dwight competed.
Pat Cobb, chairman of Johnson’s foundation, summed it up best.
“I don’t know how we could have made it much better,” Cobb said. “We’ve got nothing to complain about. For the first time around, I’m thrilled.”