Athlete of the week: Bon Homme's Johnson using long ball for wins
TYNDALL--Alec Johnson's success on the golf course is simple--he hits the ball farther than anyone else. "I usually can outdrive everybody in my group when I play," Johnson said. "I'm a great driver." The Bon Homme junior golfer has been using lo...
TYNDALL-Alec Johnson's success on the golf course is simple-he hits the ball farther than anyone else.
"I usually can outdrive everybody in my group when I play," Johnson said. "I'm a great driver."
The Bon Homme junior golfer has been using long drives off the tee box to become one of the state's top golfers. As a sophomore, Johnson finished in third place at the Class B state tournament with a two-day score of 163.
"His biggest strength is his length. There's no one that can reach him on how far he can hit a golf ball," Bon Homme head coach Drew Lawrence said. "He doesn't have a weakness. He's got every shot in the bag."
Johnson picked up his first win of the season at the Mount Vernon/Plankinton Invite on April 19 as he edged Andes Central's J.J. Cooney, the defending state champion by one stroke. Johnson carded a 1-over 73, while Cooney finished with a 74 at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell.
"My irons were working the best for me," Johnson said about the MVP Invite. "It got me the win, I guess."
For his efforts on the course, Johnson has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, a weekly award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.
Johnson and the Bon Homme boys golf team have only competed in two meets this season, but the Cavaliers have won the team title at each event. Lawrence said Johnson has become a team leader this season but started to show his skills as a golfer last year.
"As a sophomore, he really came on and was defeating stiff competition all year," Lawrence said. "This year, he's just continuing to do what he did last year. He was gifted with a good golf swing and worked hard at it. That combination has really paid off for him."
Last year, Johnson won the pre-region tournament and took second at the Region 4B tournament before taking third place at the state meet.
Johnson, who said he hopes to play golf in college, said he puts in around four or five hours of golf a day.
"It's the only sport I really like so I put a lot of time in it," Johnson said. "I've been doing it since I was 2-years old. I think it's a great sport."
Lawrence noted both Johnson and Cooney have become good friends both on the golf course and off it. Both players compete in Region 4B and the pair of Class B golfers battle each other in almost every tournament.
"He's a really good golfer and it's fun playing with him," Johnson said about Cooney. "It's always competitive with him."
Lawrence said the friendly rivalry on the course has only benefitted the two area golfers.
"I'm already a little worried that he (Cooney) won't be here to push Alec next year," Lawrence said. "They push each other."