Zach Johnson named vice captain for U.S. Ryder Cup team

Johnson's Foundation Classic gala will be online to the public on June 6

Zach Johnson was named a vice captain for the U.S. team scheduled to compete in the Ryder Cup Sept. 25-27 in Kohler, Wis.

U.S. captain Steve Stricker named Johnson and former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III as vice captains Monday. Jim Furyk was already a vice captain.

“With the Ryder Cup it’s important to surround yourself with quality individuals who you can lean on and who have the best interests of the team in mind,” said Stricker. “Jim (Furyk) and I have talked about this a lot in the last year and now we are happy to add two Ryder Cup veterans in Zach and Davis to the conversation with the goal of putting this team in a prime position to win. Both Zach and Davis share a passion to compete at the highest level and are strong communicators, which is important, especially when we’re in the heat of competition.”

In other news, Johnson announced Monday that his foundation will host a virtual fundraising gala that will be open to the public at 7 p.m. (CT) on June 6.

The event will be streamed live via the Zach Johnson Foundation’s Facebook page. This announcement comes after considerations for health and safety made it necessary to implement significant changes to the traditional Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, a two-day event usually held each July. The pro-am portion of the tournament will remain as scheduled on Monday, July 27, but will be closed to spectators, vendors and volunteers.

The board of directors will continue to keep up to date with the latest recommendations and safety guidelines from the CDC and the IDPH, and will communicate any significant changes to the tournament as necessary.

“The virtual event on June 6th will give everyone a chance to come together for a great cause,” said Jenny Becker, executive director of the Zach Johnson Foundation. “We’ll have fun, enjoy live performances and raise funds and awareness for our Kids on Course program. In a time when so much is uncertain, we hope our Virtual Gala will be a beacon of light and joy for people.”


In addition to the main program, there will be an online auction with one-of-a-kind experiences as well as celebrity entertainment and appearances by well-known sports figures. This year, the event will be open to members of the general public, and the Foundation’s Facebook page is now accepting RSVPs.

Click here to RSVP for the gala. To learn more about what the Kids on Course program is doing to help support students and families during school closures, click here.

“People will have the chance to see some of my friends from the entertainment world, as well as the sports world, come together for an evening to support our Kids on Course program,” Johnson said. “You can expect the same level of excitement from our traditional in-person event, but with even more added experiences as we celebrate our first-ever virtual gala to close the opportunity gap and give all kids the chance to achieve their dreams.”

Proceeds raised during the Virtual Gala will support Kids on Course, a Zach Johnson Foundation program that serves more than 1,000 students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District throughout the year. Kids on Course is based at Grant, Harrison, Hoover and Van Buren Elementary Schools, Roosevelt and Wilson Middle Schools, and Jefferson and Kennedy High Schools. In August, the program will be expanding to include Cedar River Academy at Taylor.

Kids on Course provides tutoring, enrichment, parent engagement strategies and health support to put students on a path to postsecondary education.

“The Zach Johnson Foundation Classic has always been and continues to be about so much more than golf,” said Tracey Myers, Director of Fundraising Events for the Zach Johnson Foundation. “And just because the event will look different and schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, our mission hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s more important than ever that we support the students and families served by our Kids on Course program.

“We must help these students access the meals, tutoring, mentoring, family engagement and more that they require to flourish. An increase in need has been noticeable. We’ve been filling gaps throughout this crisis by handing out meals at school sites, delivering food boxes to families, providing students virtual access to tutoring, mentoring and so much more. It’s important to the Zach Johnson Foundation that our support continues at a time when our students and families need us most.”

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