Nick Johnson is having a huge summer on the Bluegrass Junior Golf Tour.
A rising senior at Daviess County High School, Johnson essentially won three events in a two-day period Friday and Saturday while competing in the tour’s Combo Regional No. 5 event in central Kentucky.
On Friday, he shot a 76 to prevail in an event held at the University Club (in Lexington), and on Saturday his 74 was good enough to win at the Woodford Club.
His combined total of 150 over the two days also garnered him a first-place medal in the 15-18 age division.
“Actually, my ball-striking and accuracy haven’t been very consistent, but I found a way with my short game to get up and down and make some long putts for par,” Johnson said.
“I’m waiting for a day when I’m hitting the ball better and can put my whole game together like I’m capable — I can definitely play better.”
Earlier on the tour, Johnson shot a 5-over par 77 to win by seven strokes at Cherry Blossom Golf Course in Georgetown.
Johnson, 17, began playing competitive golf in Mark Price’s Greater Owensboro Junior Golf Series at a young age.
“Junior golf has always been so active in Owensboro, and I feel blessed to play this great game,” he said. “I’m thankful to God for all the opportunities that have come my way through the years.
“The first GO Series event I played was at Central City Country Club, and that’s what really got me interested in golf. It’s not just playing the game, it’s also about the friendships you make along the way. I’m still friends and I still play golf with some of those guys who were part of that first event.”
The 5-foot-11, 145-pound Johnson has been a member of the DCHS golf team since his his seventh-grade year — Lars King’s first season as Panther head coach.
“It’s been a tremendous experience to be part of the Daviess County program,” Johnson said. “I’ve learned so much from golfers like Daniel Love, Chris Salamah, Jesse Holton, and because of these associations through the years I’ve really been able to improve my game.
“Coach Lars King has helped me with the mental side of golf. He’s helped me approach the game and each competition with more confidence. He’s just a fantastic high school golf coach.”
Johnson also credits his personal instructor, Mike Kehoe, for his improvement on the course,
“He has helped me find the mechanics that are best for my swing,” Johnson said. “He’a another individual I’m thankful to have helping me.”
Soon, Johnson’s focus will shift to his senior high school season, where his role within the team also will shift.
“Being in a leadership role is a big deal to me, and I take it very seriously,” said Johnson, whose team will be attempting to overcome the loss of graduated standouts such as Love, Salamah and Brady Huckleberry. “I’m really excited to be the leader of the team.”
The Panthers have won consecutive 2nd Region championships, and Johnson anticipates the Panthers once again being in title contention.
“We lost some talented, veteran players, no doubt,” Johnson said, “but we have some talented youngsters eager to step in for us, and by the end of the season I think we’ll be right up there as a team.”