Stephanie Johnson didn’t have a plane to catch or a meeting to get to, but the first-round leader of the Upstate Ladies Amateur Championship knew one thing for sure.
“I couldn’t wait for the round to be over,” said the Holly Tree golfer. “The last few holes, I was just trying to make it to the house,” she said.
Johnson shot an opening round 1-under par 71 and a second round of 2-over par 74 for a two-round total of 1-over par 145 and the win in the championship.
Johnson battled the field, the heat, and her nerves all through the final round at Green Valley.
“I hit the ball well in the second round and made a lot of putts in the first round. I think I only made two bad swings in the tournament,” she said.
Her bad swing in the second round was on the second hole. She carded a double bogey and had a little trouble getting back on track with bogeys on the next two holes.
“It wasn’t a good start. I had never been in this position (leading a tournament) before and my nerves got the best of me,” she said.
After the first four holes, Johnson was 4-over par, but none of the other leaders were able to take advantage of Johnson’s shaky start.
Liz Yacovone started the final round in second place with defending champion Taylor Lance in third place.
Both were within striking distance of the lead when the second round started, but just like Johnson, Yacovone doubled her third hole while Lance did the same.
It pushed the two main challengers back into the pack and left Johnson with a comfortable lead early in the final round.
“I just kept telling myself to make pars, pars are good. Usually, I am a conservative player, but I wanted to stay aggressive enough to keep making pars,” she said.
Johnson made 11-pars in the final round to go with 3-birdies, 3-bogeys and a double for her final round 2-over par 74 and a 4-shot win over Yacovone.
“This is a big confidence boost for me. This is a tournament I have always wanted to win and today it showed me I can do it,” said the new Upstate Ladies Amateur Champion.
Johnson finishes her summer golf with a win just before she returns to her job as a PE teacher and coach at Rainbow Lake Middle School in Boiling Springs next week.
“I’m back to playing weekend golf after this week. I m going to try to qualify for the (USGA) Mid-Am and the qualifying is on a Sunday,” said the new Upstate Ladies champion.
The tournament at Green Valley was the third event played under the direction of the organization that replaced the old Greenville Ladies Championship.
“We had a great turnout with 89 golfers,” said board member Doris Fisher. “We had golfers from
almost every Upstate county playing in the tournament,” she said.
The first two years of the revitalized tournament were affected by covid, but with this year’s field, Fisher believes the new organization has developed a solid footing for the tournament to grow going forward.
“We already have our site for next year’s championship, Holly Tree, so we are looking forward to another good tournament next August,” concluded Fisher.
Scores from the Upstate Ladies Amateur Championship https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/8693763846772407326
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf