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Athlete of the week: Johnson looks to limit mistakes, chase state title

TYNDALL--There aren't many more experienced prep golfers than Bon Homme's Alec Johnson. The Bon Homme senior golfer is playing in his sixth varsity season and after back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Class B state tournament, Johnson will be in ...

Bon Homme's Alec Johnson chips on to the green during the 2015 Class B state golf tournament in Yankton. (Republic file photo)
Bon Homme's Alec Johnson chips on to the green during the 2015 Class B state golf tournament in Yankton. (Republic file photo)

TYNDALL-There aren't many more experienced prep golfers than Bon Homme's Alec Johnson.

The Bon Homme senior golfer is playing in his sixth varsity season and after back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Class B state tournament, Johnson will be in the mix for state championship.

Johnson picked up his first win of the season at the Southeastern South Dakota Small Schools Invite on Thursday at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton. He carded a 74 to win the 58-person tournament on the Par-72 course.

Johnson's round included three birdies, but he also had two double-bogeys. Bon Homme head coach Drew Lawrence said finding ways to limit mistakes will be important as the season progresses.
"He's played pretty well so far this season, but he's made a few mistakes in both tournaments," Lawrence said. "When he keeps his drives in play, he's a tough competitor. He's been putting well and it's been great to have a lot of nice weather, because he's always out practicing."

For winning the SESDSS Invite, Johnson, a future Dakota Wesleyan University golfer, has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, a weekly award voted upon by the newspaper's sports staff.

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Bon Homme's first meet of the season was the Class B Classic on April 7 at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell. Johnson tied for second with a 79 at the meet, which featured more than half of last season's 25 state boys medalists.

"It was really good for him," Lawrence said about the Class B Classic. "You had a lot of state placers and the best kids in Class B at that tournament. It was a great measuring stick for him right away."

At the Class B Classic, there was 30 mph winds throughout the day and Lawrence said Johnson hit his first two tee shots out of bounds, but battled back to record a 79.

"He bounces back well," Lawrence said. "As long as he can mentally, stay with the grind, he'll be fine."

Using an overpowering drive off the tee-box, Johnson can shrink golf courses down. At the Class B Classic, with the win at his back, Lawrence said Johnson hit nearly a 380-foot drive at Lakeview.

After placing third as a sophomore and seventh as a junior, Johnson is after the top spot in Class B. The Cavaliers have six meets left until the Region 4 meet on May 23 in Mitchell.

With Johnson as a top finisher, Lawrence said the Bon Homme team should compete for a region title. Fellow senior Cole Uecker and freshman Carter Libis have rounded out the team early in the season.

Lawrence said Johnson's experience and leadership has been vital for the Bon Homme boys golf program, which has 10 golfers freshman or below on the roster.

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"When Alec finished his round in Yankton, he didn't sit in the clubhouse, he asked for a ride so he could watch Libis play," Lawrence said. "That's a good teammate. He cares what his teammates do."

Related Topics: GOLF
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