Johnson's World Tour Stops In Eugene
By Rebecca Calderara, USGA
Eugene, Ore. – You couldn’t blame Jennifer Johnson if she didn’t know where she was this week.
On the road for more than a month, the 17-year-old Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., has traveled through 17 time zones and more than 20,000 miles to compete in championships this summer.
Following her victory at the 2008 AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions in Newburgh, Ind., Johnson left for China to compete in the inaugural China-USA Youth Team Golf Championships in Langfang City, China, thereby passing up the chance to play in the U.S. Girls Junior at Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, Conn.
“You can’t go to China every day,” said Johnson when asked why she chose to forgo the U.S. Girls Junior. “It’s a rare opportunity.”
Johnson was one of four junior girls to represent the USA team at the championship, which was conducted by the USGA and the China Golf Association. Sydney Burlison, also playing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, played on the USA team with Johnson. Serving as both an ambassador for the United States as well as a team member, Johnson described the competition as the most exciting golf event of her career.
From China, Johnson flew to Connecticut to play a practice round for the 2008 Canon Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event run by the American Junior Golf Association, at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich the following day. Last Friday following the Canon Cup, she flew back across the country to Oregon for the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“It’s been pretty hectic, but it’s been really fun,” said Johnson about her summer.
Her father, Mike Johnson, travels with Johnson during the summer. He has been away from home traveling for more than a month in order to chaperone his daughter.
“I put more than 9,000 miles on my car last summer and 7,000 this month alone,” said Mike Johnson.
While the travel schedule has brought Johnson around the world, she is looking forward to spending time with family at home after the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“It’s been fun,” she said, “but I’m kind of ready to go home.”
Something that will have to wait at least one more day. In her first Women’s Amateur, Johnson recorded scores of 76-73 to advance to Wednesday’s first round of match play.
Rebecca Calderara is a first-year Fellow in the USGA in the USGA Grants Initiative program. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.