U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S AMATEUR
2016 Women's Mid-Am Runner-Up Makes Cameo to Support Friend September 19, 2016 | Wellesley, Mass. By David Shefter, USGA

Shannon Johnson (left), the runner-up in last week's U.S. Women's Mid-Am, made a cameo to support her friend Pam Kuong on Monday. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Home

Shannon Johnson was making her daily rounds as a golf equipment representative on a rainy Monday when she checked her phone.

Five days removed from a runner-up finish in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at The Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa., Johnson was at a course 30 minutes from Wellesley. Seeing that close friend Pamela Kuong was 4 down after six holes in her Round-of-64 match in the 55th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, Johnson felt obligated to make a beeline to Wellesley Country Club.

“I actually didn’t have any intentions of coming out today,” said Johnson, 33, of Norton, Mass. “I got out of an account and said I’ve got to run up and cheer on Pam.”

Johnson “booked it” and arrived in time to watch Kuong, of Wellesly Hills, Mass., make the turn in her match against Cindy Fentross, of West Boylston, Mass. Last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up, who was 3 down when Johnson arrived, rallied to win the 13th and 14th holes, but her comeback fell short and she lost, 2 and 1.

Just walking the Donald Ross layout brought back memories of last week for Johnson, who shared medalist honors with Julia Potter and then lost to the left-hander, 2 and 1, in the 18-hole championship match on Thursday.

“It’s tough, not being too far removed from last week,” admitted Johnson. “Coming out here, I kind of remember those putts that I missed. But it’s fun to be back on the course.”

On Sunday night, Kuong invited Johnson and several other Senior Women’s Amateur competitors to her house for a barbecue. Johnson also received a cake celebrating her run to the Women’s Mid-Am final. Johnson and Kuong both know what it’s like to come up one match short in a USGA championship.

Since moving to the Boston area four years ago, Johnson and Kuong have become golf buddies, the former often getting invited to Charles River Country Club – Kuong’s home course – for friendly matches. The two hope to be teammates next fall for the USGA Women’s State Team Championship in New Mexico.

Because of her job, Johnson, an Indiana University graduate who grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., doesn’t have much free time to compete. August is the best month because demo days are done and it’s a period when clubs begin buying for the following year. And her territory affords her a chance to play some memorable courses.

“This is awesome,” said Johnson, who had the South Dakota/Nebraska region before being relocated to Massachusetts. “There are a lot more Donald Ross courses and there are so many fantastic places to play out here.”

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

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