ST. FRANCISVILLE — Julia Johnson has yet to find her game at the AJGA St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior tournament, but she still rallied for a second-round 75 Wednesday afternoon.
The score gave her a two-day total of 7-over par 151 at The Bluffs golf resort, good enough for sole possession of second place in the girls standings. Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn shot 74 to grab first place at 6-over 150.
In the boys division, first-day leader Jake Carter ballooned to a 75 after an opening 66, but held on to first at 3-under 141.
New Orleans’ Price Butcher shot 74, while defending champion Zach Tracy of Houston shot 71. Both are tied for second at even-par 144.
Benton’s Hayden White shot 76 to tie for fifth at 148, and Alexandria’s Charlie Flynn is ninth at 150 after a 77. Drew Gonzales of Lafayette and Stephen Wall of Madisonville are tied for 12th at 152. Three Louisiana players are tied for 15th at 153: William Meyers of Baton Rouge, Grant Glorioso of Metairie and Colin Troxler of Luling.
Johnson, who will be a junior this fall at East Iberville High School, committed to LSU and coach Karen Bahnsen last fall. Since then, she has been on a tear with a win at the Division II individual high school title, another in the boys division of an Arrowhead tournament, and also qualified for next month’s Junior PGA.
“I feel like I’ve been a Tiger since I was about 4,” Johnson said. “(LSU) probably recruited me for about a year, and they offered me in the fall. I started getting offers from other colleges, and that probably pushed them a little bit.”
Its no surprise that Johnson had high expectations coming into the AJGA tournament at St. Francisville.
“I don’t think I’ve had my ‘A’ game,” Johnson said. “I’ve gotten off to pretty bad starts, and I’ve had to fight to stay where I was at. It shows that sometimes you have to fight just to shoot decent numbers.”
Decent scores weren’t a problem in April at the Arrowhead Carter Plantation tournament. Competing in the boys division, Johnson followed a first-round 73 with a 68 to win the overall title by four strokes over Glorioso and Beau Briggs of Covington.
“They wouldn’t put boys champion (on the website), so they put overall champion,” Johnson said.
“The plaque I won will say boys champion. I’ll hang it in my room.”
In May, Johnson successfully defended the high school title she first won as an eighth-grader. She posted a two-day total of 1-under 147 to win by eight strokes at Lex Vieux Chenes in Youngsville.
With two more chances to win titles in her high school career, the prospect of winning five seems as close as a chip shot. Johnson doesn’t shy away from the possibility.
“I would like to put my name in that record book,” she said. “It’s motivation, and I love winning state. There are some great names that have won that.”
Two weeks ago, she won the LWGA Amateur Championship at Gray Plantation in Lake Charles.
It was part of a busy summer schedule when she qualified for the Junior PGA Championship held August 3-6, 2015 at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas.
Johnson qualified by shooting 69-69-68 at the Gulf States Junior PGA held in June at Beau Pre Country Club in Natchez, Mississippi.
Johnson seems to find motivation from anything on the golf course where bogeys only make her more determined. Its something she identifies as her best trait.
“I don’t give up,” Johnson said. “I could be 7-over through two holes, and I’m still going to play the last 16 like its the last round of my life.”