July 30, 2006
Clemson, SC – Former Clemson All-American Kevin Johnson won the Health Systems Wichita Open on the PGA’s Nationwide Tour on Sunday. It was the fourth Nationwide Tour win for Johnson, but his first in six years.
Johnson fired rounds of 65-68-67-66 in scoring a 266 total for his four rounds on the par 72 Crestview Country Club course that is 6913 yards in length. His 18-under-par score was one better than former Georgia Tech All-American Matt Kuchar, who finished second at 267.
With the victory, Johnson becomes the first former Clemson golfer to win four events on either the PGA or Nationwide Tours. He also won the Puget Sound Open in 1997, the South Carolina Classic in 1999, the Permian Basin Classic in 2000 on the Nationwide Tour. Johnson, Clarence Rose, Charles Warren and Jonathan Byrd had all previously won three PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour events.
Johnson’s victory is the first for a former Clemson golfer on the Nationwide Tour since D.J. Trahan won the Miccosuke Classic in 2004. It is the first in any PGA Tour event since Lucas Glover won the Funai Classic last October.
Johnson began the day one shot behind Kuchar at 13 under par. He had just one birdie in his first eight holes, then made a run on the back nine when he birdied 14, 15 and 16 to take a two shot lead over Kuchar. Both players bogeyed the 17th hole, so Johnson had a two-shot lead going to the final hole. Johnson made a par on the last hole, while Kuchar made birdie, but it was still enough for a one-shot win for Johnson.
Johnson is a native of Massachusetts who came to Clemson in the fall of 1985. He became Clemson’s firs three-time All-American in history, earning a berth on the Coach’s All-American team in 1987 (third team), 1988 (first team) and 1989 (second team). He won the ACC Championship in 1988 as a junior and was a three time All-ACC performer for Larry Penley’s Tigers. He was named to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002, the same year he was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.
With the victory, Johnson moved from 139th to the top 30 on the Nationwide Tour money list. The top 20 money leaders at the end of the Nationwide Tour season get PGA Tour cards fin 2007. Johnson had a consistent four rounds, scoring 21 birdies and just three bogeys. He reached the green in regulation in 73.6 percent of his holes, eighth best in the field.
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