Shannon Johnson (USGA photo)
HYDE PARK, Mass. (Aug. 1, 2018) –Shannon Johnson hasn’t been to the finals of the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship since 2015, her first year playing in the longest running Mass Golf Championship in the state. The 35-year old is now one step closer to returning to that stage.
After defeating Elise Keane in her morning round Wednesday, Johnson battled 2017 runner-up Angela Garvin in the afternoon round, a match that was all square after nine but ultimately saw Johnson pull away in the second half, winning, 2 and 1.
“To get back to the semis is huge,” Johnson said following her play Wednesday. “The last couple years I haven’t been so lucky to do it, but I’m playing pretty good golf so we’ll see how it goes.”
She got down early in her match against Garvin, a University of Maryland commit, after a bogey on the first hole – the par-4, 370-yard straightaway – but quickly brought the match back to even when she birdied the second hole.
The two swapped leads over the course of the next three holes, before the match went to all square after the fifth hole. It remained that way from the sixth hole through the 10th, which included a run that twice saw the two competitors card matching birdies on the same hole.
“We were even through nine, then we each made birdies on 10. She made a really good up and down,” said Johnson on her opponent’s ability to keep battling.
It was on the next hole where Johnson began to make her final push.
“On 11, Angela got into a little trouble. I hit a good drive and hit a pretty decent approach shot in,” said Johnson. “I thought it was a little closer from the fairway. She didn’t get back up and down. I was just trying to nestle it close, and it went in. I had about 106 coming in, so I hit gap wedge. It was a little thin. The winds were swirling, so it’s always tough to know exactly if you’re downwind or into. It was good.”
Johnson birdied the 11th to Garvin’s bogey to go 1 up, then on the 12th hole, Garvin double bogeyed to Johnson’s par to extend her lead to 2 up. On 13, Johnson enjoyed her biggest lead of the day.
“On 13, I finally hit the fairway,” recalled Johnson, something she said she had struggled with earlier in the round. “[Angela] ended up hitting hers in the hazard left, and I just hit a good wedge up to the green and two putted.”
Despite back-to-back bogeys by Johnson on the 14th and 15th holes that allowed Garvin to bring the match back within one hole, she made birdie on the 16th and 17th holes to finish off the victory.
Considering it was one of the first competitive rounds since last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship where she played nearly 36-holes of play in one day, Johnson said it’s great to be back into the position.
“The second day is always fun, trying to get through a couple matches. Angela is obviously a great player so I knew it was going to be a really good match going into it.”
Johnson will face Jamaica Plain’s Jacqueline Gonzalez in the semifinal match Thursday morning at George Wright Golf Course.
ABOUT THE Massachusetts Women's Amateur
18-hole stroke play qualifier for 2 match play flights of
32 players. Must have a current established GHIN
handicap from a Massachusetts Golf Association
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