Johnson, Tjoa share medalist honors, advance to U.S. Junior Championship
The U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina is now in sight for Ankeny native, Hunter Johnson (above left) and Cedar Falls native, Maxwell Tjoa (above right). Johnson and Tjoa fired rounds of 71 to earn co-medalists at the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier at Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny on Monday.
Johnson stuck to his game plan and played consistent, recording three birdies to only two bogeys. On his back nine, where he carded a 1-under 35, Johnson was bogey free with a lone birdie coming on hole 14.
“I knew I needed to hit fairways and attack pins when I could and just be cautious when I needed to be cautious,” Johnson said. “I know I am a pretty good ball striker, so I was able to hit through the strong winds in the afternoon.”
Tjoa had an early tee time and took advantage of it, going 4-under through his first 11 holes. A double on the tough 191-yard par-3 13th hole did not fluster Tjoa, he managed to keep his game right where it needed to be to advance to North Carolina.
“I just wanted to play my game and see how well I could play,” Tjoa said. “I wanted to play to my strengths, and I trusted my putting. I had an early tee time so throughout the entire round I played without wind, but towards the end of the round the wind started to pick up and made things a little tougher.”
North Carolina will bring some of the best golfers across the world and Johnson and Tjoa know that the experience will be unbeatable. They both have goals, but overall, they want to play the best they can against a strong field at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
Jack Dumas, of LeClaire, recorded a birdie on the fourth playoff hole to defeat Owen Mullen, of Shortts Lake. Dumas earned the first alternate spot and Mullen will be the second alternate. Both players carded rounds of 72.
Hunter Johnson – 71
Maxwell Tjoa – 71
Jack Dumas – 72
Owen Mullen – 72