Catholic's Johnson takes Pearson title

Catholic's Johnson takes Pearson title

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Catholic's Johnson takes Pearson title

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When scoring opportunities were presented Friday at the Jim Pearson City Championships high school golf tournament, Tyler Johnson took advantage.

The Catholic High School senior was 3-under on the par fives, shooting a round of 77 to win the city title by two strokes at Millwood Golf and Racquet Club.

Glendale won the team championship, shooting 324 and topping second-place Catholic by eight strokes.

Johnson said he targeted shooting a 75 or 76, but took a triple-bogey midway through his round.

“I started coming back again and then I took a double on another hole,” Johnson said. “It was, like, take two steps forward and then one step back out there.”

However, Johnson followed his double-bogey with a birdie on his second-to-last hole, his fourth birdie of the round, and then a par to win the title.

Johnson said he knew down the stretch he might have a chance to win the tournament.

“Going into (my 16th hole), I was even (par) on the back,” Johnson said. “But after that double, I got pretty scared. But then I figured I could get birdies, and finish on a good note.”

The last time Johnson had played in a tournament at Millwood was two years ago in this event, where he medaled.

“My approach shots were good,” Johnson said. “I was hitting greens in regulation, and just avoiding trouble; I was pretty good.”

The par fives were the key, Johnson said, as his tee shots were solid on all four. His shot of the day might have been a 230-yard approach with a 4-iron to give him a legitimate eagle opportunity on No. 12, which he birdied.

Glendale was led by Brian Cauldwell and Christopher Obert, who tied for second with 79s.

Obert, a freshman, was playing at his home course, and said he used that to his advantage.

“It’s an advantage because you know where to hit and where you have to stay out of trouble,” Obert said. “Plus, my short game was really clicking today.”

Glendale’s Baron Weaver took fourth with an 81, and Catholic’s Ben Wiles, Hillcrest’s Caleb Abalos, and Kickapoo’s John Fuchs and Joe Lightner tied for fifth with 82s.

The city’s five public schools will compete in the Ozark Conference championships on Monday in Rolla, and Catholic and Greenwood will meet on Tuesday for a match in the final week of the regular season.

Glendale’s title should give the team momentum down the stretch, Obert said.

“It’s really good for us with districts and sectionals coming up,” he said. “It’s just awesome for the team.”

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