College Golf

Spartanburg’s Johnson wins Florida Women’s title

Spartanburg's Ell Johnson won the Florida Golf Association Women's Stroke Play title setting a new course record in the final round.
Elle Johnson, a FSU rising senior from Spartanburg won the Florida Golf Association Women’s stroke play championship. Johnson established a new women’s course record with her final round 65 at the Coral Creek Club in Placida. Fl. (FSGA Photo)

by Jed Blackwell Associate Editor The Golf Club

On the 12th hole of the Florida State Golf Association’s Women’s Stroke Play Championship, the father of Elle Johnson’s playing partner had a couple of words for Johnson.

“He told me if I could make a couple more birdies, I had a chance to win this thing,” the former Spartanburg High School and current Florida State golfer said. “I knew I was close, but there really wasn’t anywhere to look at the scores.”

Turns out, the advice was spot-on.

Johnson birdied the 13th and 15th hole coming home, firing a back-nine 34 to go with a sizzling 31 on the front for a final-round 65 and a three-day total of 209, beating Jillan Bourdage by two strokes to win the title.

Johnson did have one blemish coming down the stretch, a bogey at the 18th.

“I missed a seven-footer for a 64,” she said.

The 65 was plenty, setting a course record at the Coral Creek layout in Placida. She didn’t know that record was in play, either.

“Somebody told me after the round that it was the course record,” she said. “I had no idea.”

Johnson won the event with a solid tournament from tee to green. She said Saturday’s even-par 72 could have turned into the kind of round that she produced on Sunday.

“I played really well the second day, I just missed a lot of short putts,” she explained. “I was hitting it close, but nothing was falling. I couldn’t make anything. I played really similarly on Sunday, and finally made some putts. My ball-striking was really good, I hit every green but one, I put some inside 10 feet, and the putter was working.”

Johnson was the South Carolina AAAAA High School Champion in 2017 playing for Spartanburg High School.
See our story from the championship at (GolfClub Photo)

That’s certainly a recipe for success. It’s also a fine finish for a solid few months for Johnson. She helped the Seminoles to a regional championship and a berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament. There, Florida State advanced to the match play portion of the event for the first time in school history before falling to Texas A&M 3-2. One of the two wins for the Seminoles was Johnson’s 3&2 victory.

“I had a pretty good spring,” Johnson said. “I had a good off-season, I played a lot in the spring, and I played well. I got the opportunity to play in the national championship, played well all but one day, and won my match in match-play.”

Still, Johnson said it was good to lift the big trophy.

“It feels pretty good,” she said. “I haven’t won in a while. It was nice to get a win.”

Johnson will next play at the Sea Island Women’s Amateur, beginning July 18 at the Tom Fazio Seaside Course in St. Simon’s Island, Ga.

Scores from the FSGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship

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