Niagara Gazette

Sports

July 26, 2013

Porter Cup Notebook: Auburn's Johnson gets first taste

Niagara Gazette —

LEWISTON — When Michael Johnson tapped in for par from the green of the Niagara Falls Country Club’s 18th hole Thursday, he embraced each player in his group with a firm handshake and a friendly pat on the shoulder.

He then walked to the scorer’s tent to submit his spoils from the day before meeting his parents, who arrived in town earlier this week from their home in Birmingham, Ala., to support their son.

Johnson, a 20-year-old junior at Auburn University, is surrounded by familiar faces as he plays in his first Porter Cup this year, the 55th running of the prestigious tournament.

Johnson was one of the biggest climbers during Day Two, which featured pristine weather conditions with temperatures in the low 70s around the sun-kissed fairways at NFCC.

After shooting a first-round 71 on Wednesday, Johnson teed off at 9:20 a.m. tied for 24th. By the time he walked off No. 18 about four hours later, his round of 66 helped him climb 15 spots into a tie for ninth place 3 strokes under par entering the third round.

Johnson, rated No. 41 in the Scratch Player World Amateur Rankings, is one of the 44 players in the field of 84 playing at NFCC for the first time. He set a tournament record while winning the Dogwood Invitational this year, shooting a 28-under 260 over four rounds.

Playing his first two rounds alongside a pair of friends, last year’s champion Richy Werenski and runner-up Denny McCarthy, has helped Johnson settle in here.

“It’s nice to have friends out here,” Johnson said of Werenski and McCarthy. “Especially ones who have done well here. … They point out some of the little things you normally wouldn’t see but make all the difference.”

The trio compete in about 15 tournaments together each year. The close proximity of their schools -- Werenski attends Georgia Tech and McCarthy plays at Virginia -- has encouraged the friendship.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page