Shannon Johnson wins U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur a year after fellow Thorny Lea GC member Matt Parziale won U.S. Mid-Amateur
Shannon Johnson gave Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, Mass., a second USGA champion in the last 12 months with her victory in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship Thursday.
Johnson, a sales rep for Ping, defeated defending champion Kelsey Chugg, 1-up with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th hole at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis.
A year ago, another Thorny Lea member, Matt Parziale, a Brockton fire fighter, won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Parziale made the cut in the U.S. Open and was low amateur in June. With her victory, Johnson earned a start in next year's U.S. Women's Open.
Johnson, 35, also counts Pine Oaks Golf Course in South Easton, Mass., as a home course. She was the runner-up to Julia Potter in the 2016 Women’s Mid-Amateur.
A former University of Indiana star, Johnson prevailed in a back-and-forth match in which each player led twice through 17 holes and came to the 474-yard 18th hole all square.
Johnson, who also was the medalist with a 36-hole score of one-under 143, reached the green in two, leaving her a 20-foot eagle putt.
" I hit a great drive on 18," she said. "We were definitely playing a little further back, so 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, and pretty much it would be like a 220 shot. Ball was up a little bit, which was perfect because I can draw it in there, and I always hit my 7-wood pretty well and always have a little draw. So I said, this should be perfect, and I couldn't have hit it any better. It was unbelievable."
Chugg, meanwhile, needed three shots to reach the green and had an eight-footer for birdie. Johnson’s eagle effort missed, but she had less than two foot left for birdie. After Chugg missed, Johnson tapped in for the victory.
For Chugg, 27, the membership director for the Utah Golf Association, it ended her streak of 11 straight match-play victories in the Women’s Mid-Amateur.
"It was just an incredible match," Chugg said. "I felt like I played as good as I could have. I would have loved the putt to go in on the last hole, but I really feel like I did a great job of hanging on, and she's just an incredible player. Just rock solid. And I played the best golf I could today to try and keep up."