By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The U.S. Amateur Golf Championship Tournament is set for August 13th through the 19th out at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.
Among the golfers that will be taking part is La Salle University’s Mike Johnson.
Set to be a junior in the fall, Johnson punched his ticket for the U.S. Amateur by shooting -1 and finishing fifth in the recent qualifier at Waynesborough and Applebrook. The top six got invites to Colorado.
“I’m hitting the ball really solid and making a lot of putts,” Johnson tells KYW Newsradio. “Good strokes and good swings. So if I just keep my head right and keep focusing on the shot I have ahead then there is nothing holding me back and I’ll be able to get to where I need to get too.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Mike Johnson:
Johnson has already established himself as a rising star in local golf circles and the Ambler native says he is pleased with the arc of his career to this point.
“When I entered college I had two goals: play in a USGA Championship, either the US Amateur or the US Open, and then it was to make some noise in the GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia). And I feel like I’ve accomplished them thus far, and I just want to continue to do some more achievements inside GAP and the world ranks of amateur golf.”
As for the US Amateur, Johnson says Cherry Hills will be a new experience for him.
“I’m very unfamiliar with the course. I know it plays about 7600 yards from the back tee and elevation will be a key factor. That’s kind of why I want to get out there on Friday (August 10th), before the tournament.”
Johnson has a little bit of time here before he tees it up in Colorado, but he says he is going to work hard to avoid any “paralysis by analysis”.
“I’m trying to know as little as I can when I get out there. Because I tend to think too much and when I think too much, things go bad. So if I go out there knowing as little as I can and maybe just play the course one time – to see what it looks like and see where the trouble areas are and just know that they’re there. That’s the only thing that will really help.”
The first two rounds of the US Open are stroke play. Then the top 64 players advance to match play on August 15th.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.