WACONIA, Minn. (June 20, 2013) — Troy Johnson has an extensive golf resume with several championship victories and he can add one more after he defeated Jesse Bull 3 and 2 Thursday to win the 2013 Minnesota Golf Association’s Mid-Players Championship at Island View Golf Club.
Along with winning the MGA Mid-Players twice (2009, 2013), Johnson won the 2011 Minnesota State Open, the 2010 MGA Mid-Amateur, the 2008 MPGA State Public Links Championship and the 2007 MPGA Four Ball Championship.
On Thursday Johnson, Rush Creek Golf Club, birdied the first hole, but unfortunately his counterpart Bull eagled the first hole and Johnson found himself 1-down immediately.
The two halved the next three holes before Johnson answered with a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole to bring the match even. Bull took advantage of a Johnson bogey on the sixth hole to again take a 1-up lead.
On the par-4 seventh hole, the match shifted and Johnson began to take control as he would birdie the seventh to even the match and birdie the eighth to take his first lead of the match and would never give it back.
“My goal today was to make zero bogeys; I ended up making one but I was solid all day,” Johnson said after the match. “He wasn’t making any mistakes and I wasn’t either. The difference today was bogeys. I gave him one on the front and got down, and he gave me two on the back. That and my four birdies were really the point of the match.”
Johnson took his biggest lead of the day at 2-up when he capitalized on a bogey by Bull on the 12th hole, but Bull came charging back to make birdie on the following hole to keep the match close.
Another bogey by Bull on the 15th put Johnson 2-up with three holes to play but when Johnson’s 7-foot birdie putt on the 17th, the tournament was over and the hardware in-hand.
“I struggled for a couple years after winning this tournament in 2009 but it feels great. I never played horrible but I didn’t have any high finishes. It’s very nice to get back on top—I played a solid round of golf today. I kind of found my game this week and I am really happy with it,” Johnson said.
Bull, Golden Valley Golf and Country Club, was ousted by eventual champion Sammy Schmitz a year ago, but remained optimistic about his performance in the championship match.
“I think I had one bad shot which went into the water on 15. That was my only bad strike of the day,” he said. “I also struggled with getting it close from 100 yards, but the difference today was putting. I had a three-putt on 12 and I missed two short putts late and you just can’t do that,” Bull said.
“It’s always good to be in this position playing for a title; the more experience you have doing that, the better. I’m happy with the way I played—I hit the ball really good. All I can control is what I do but I was averaging 14 or 15 greens, so I was hitting fairways and greens. I just had too many two-putts,” he said.
View results for Minnesota Mid/Senior Players Championship