Shannon Johnson is Women’s Mid Amateur Champion

Shannon Johnson is Women's Mid Amateur Champion

SIOUX FALLS, SD… It didn’t take Dave Hanten long to see something special in a young Shannon Johnson.

Dave Hanten, Willow Run Golf Pro says:”She always calls and says Dave let’s go hit some balls. Translation is would you just take a look at my swing and see where we’re at.”

A relationship grew over the next few years as Johnson became a championship golfer at O’Gorman and as an amateur in South Dakota, eventually moving on to the University of Indiana.

Shannon Johnson, Women’s Mid Amateur Champion says:”Every year I bring my golf clubs and we have our one lesson of the year. He knows my swing better than anyone out there.”

Though she didn’t turn pro after graduating in 2006, Johnson did take a job with Ping Golf in Boston, which kept her active on the course.

Shannon says:”Maybe I’m just kind of maturing with age but I definitely think I’m playing better golf now than I was in college. I think a little bit of that has to do with perspective on life. I don’t have to live and die on every shot like I did in college.”

It led to her making the semifinals of the national Mid-Amateur tournament in each of the last two years. This year she qualified for a men’s amateur tournament, placing 49th out of more than a hundred.

Shannon says:”I was a little nervous, but that’s the nerves you want to feel and that’s what you have to learn how to overcome…and how are you going to swing and hit pressure putts under those situations and what are you going to do and how are you going to react.”

With that experience Johnson got over the hump at the women’s mid-amateur, capturing the championship last week, all with Hanten watching and walking with her despite hip problems.

Hanten says:”Tears came to my eyes. She came out like I said when she was 13 years old and here she is 22 years later winning a national event.”

With the victory she’ll get a taste of the pro life she gave up next year by earning an automatic start at the Women’s US Open.

Shannon says:”I’m happy with what I’m doing, I don’t regret it. But if the one professional event I get to play in ever will be the U.S. Open I’ll be happy with that.”

While continuing to savor the life and friends she has now.

Zach Borg, KDLT Sports.

Categories: Athlete of the Week, Sports, Sports Top Story