Top amateur golf moments of 2018, No. 12: Set completed
Shannon Johnson had two close calls, then won the Women's Mid-Am (Photo illustration)
Shannon Johnson had two close calls, then won the Women's Mid-Am (Photo illustration)

At, we admit to loving the amateur sector of this game for the stories, the depth of the players, the remarkable courses, the history of the tournaments and the sheer love of the game displayed by amateur golfers. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve gathered the year’s best stories for a countdown to the end of the season. Be sure to come back each day to relive the moments that made amateur golf great this year.

Click here to see the whole list as it is revealed

When a player knocks at the door enough times, she not only becomes a household name but a favorite. Shannon Johnson started the year as that player, then went on to author a summer that effectively establishes her as one of the top female mid-amateurs in the game.

The sheer number of tournaments Johnson won over the summer is astounding. Then again, she entered plenty. Starting in June, the 35-year-old from Norton, Mass., won the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy (for the fourth time), the New England Women’s Amateur, the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur and the Keyes Cup. She played the Massachusetts Men’s Mid-Amateur, making the 36-hole cut and finishing T-48. She was the medalist at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in September for the second time in three years.

And then, the jackpot: a maiden U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title. It was sweet victory after Johnson had fallen in the semifinals in 2017 and was runner-up in 2016. Johnson receives a U.S. Women’s Open start in 2019 courtesy of her Mid-Amateur title.

There were five lead changes between Johnson and runner-up Kelsey Chugg during the 18-hole championship match at Norwood Hills Country Club, 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.

A month after that victory, caught up with Johnson for an extended Q&A. It provides a look at the player in her own words and reveals a grateful golf nut who was long overdue for this kind of career-defining victory.

“I think I just wanted it for so long and I had a little doubt in my mind after last year, getting beat in the semis,” she said. “Maybe it’s just not meant to be. Just everything that happened this year, to be able to cap it off with a win was amazing. Hopefully the next couple months, it will set in a little more. It’s something that I’ll never take for granted.”

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 for amateurs.

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