2018 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Shannon Johnson (USGA photo)
ST. LOUIS (Sept. 27, 2018) – After the summer Shannon Johnson
has had, it seems only fitting that she would add a U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title to her resume. Johnson has made it to the semifinals at this tournament for the past three years, and now she finally will have her name on the trophy.
On Thursday at Norwood Hills Country Club, in the 18-hole final against defending champion Kelsey Chugg
, Johnson went 2 up by the third hole thanks to birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. Chugg answered by winning the next three holes. Johnson had it back to all square by the turn, but Chugg kept fighting.
Johnson squared it again when she sank a 25-foot birdie putt at No. 16.
“That was an incredible putt – she did that on 12, as well,” said Chugg. “I’m sitting there thinking I’ve got a good chance of making this, and then all of a sudden I’m having to change my game plan up. Her making that was definitely a momentum changer. But I think – gosh, she’s just an amazing putter.”
There were five lead changes between the two players during the 18-hole match, but the two stood on the 18th tee all square.
"I was surprisingly really calm, even on the 18th tee,” said Johnson, who played three years of college golf at the University of New Mexico and her final year at Indiana University. “I hit a great drive on 18. I didn’t think I could get on in two as we were walking up, but then the yardage that we had, we just had to cover 200 to the front. I couldn’t have hit it any better. It was unbelievable."
Johnson, who works as a Ping Golf sales representative, will receive an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open courtesy of her win.
Since June, the 35-year-old has won the New England Women’s Amateur, the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur and the Keyes Cup. In the week leading up to the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, she played the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur, making the 36-hole cut and finishing T-48. Johnson was the medalist at Norwood Hills earlier this week.
“I think looking back on a couple years ago, I just was super tentative with my putting,” Johnson said of her game on the night before the championship match. “Got a new putter, different, and just trying not to think a lot about it and just kind of let it go. It’s been working so far. I’ve just got to come out swinging and get some good tempo on the first few holes.”
ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur originated in
1987 to provide a national competitive arena
for amateurs 25 and older. Besides the age
restriction, the event is open to those with a
USGA Handicap Index of 9.4 or lower. It is
one of 14 national championships conducted
annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly
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