Halee Jo Johnson, Happy golf, Sr.
On the course: Johnson appears primed to repeat as the Class 1A state champion based on her stellar performance at last week’s Region I-1A tournament at Lubbock’s Reese Golf Course. She was the most dominant performer over two days, as she shot a first-round 77 on a windy day to take a six-stroke lead after 18 holes. Johnson was even more impressive over the last 18 holes, shooting an even-par 72 (after missing an eagle putt on No. 18) to finish with a total of five-over par 149, a good 14 strokes ahead of the rest of the field, a pretty impressive feat considering Johnson battled a wrist injury early in the season. That gave Johnson her third straight regional title and an automatic berth in the state tournament scheduled for May 15-16 at Kyle’s Plum Creek Golf Course, the same course where she won the state title last year by two strokes.
Coach Barry Stevens: “She’s been capable of that. After state last year in the summer she had to have wrist surgery. She couldn’t play fall golf. She was shooting in the 70s last year until her wrist started bothering her. With basketball going longer than normal, she didn’t get to practice as much early as she wanted to. She had kind of a slow start. She just had to spend some time getting ready. She likes (Reese) and she killed it. She is focused. She’s confident with her clubs and her distances. She rarely hits a poor shot. Her short game is what she’s got to work on. Her driving is really consistent. The girl that was second to her from Eula (at state) last year shot 160 in her region final, so she’s pretty confident.”
Johnson: “I was satisfied, especially with the second day. Shooting par’s always good. I was happy with the first day after it was over, but after the second day I felt I could have done better the first day. The second day (the wind) wasn’t as bad but there were still some gusts and it was hotter. The wind was blowing but I was used to it. I was so nervous on that eagle putt but being able to make birdie was OK with me. Every year I play the expectations are always the same. I don’t really do anything differently. This year I’m pushing myself the exact same way. I think if I can get down to state and shoot in the low 70s like at regionals I’ll definitely be set. I think there’s people chasing me but I don’t feel any pressure because I know I can do it.”
Favorite band or musician: Taylor Swift
Favorite social media platform: Twitter
Favorite athlete: Scottie Scheffler
Bet you didn’t know: Still doesn’t know where she’s going to college.
Parents: Jalane Johnson