Minnesota Golf Association

Peterson and Johnson Medal; Former Gophers Smith and Morgan Headed to U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

October 5, 2018

By Nick Hunter
  CHASKA, Minn. – While the 2018 golf season may have started slowly for Trent Peterson, he’s certainly made up for it in the last 24 hours. On Thursday, Peterson carded a 12-under par 204 to claim his second straight Minnesota Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship.
On Friday, Peterson and partner Troy Johnson combined for a round of 8-under par 64 at Chaska Town Course to earn medalist honors as well as a spot in the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
“We played great. We were in the fairway all day, we made a bunch of 15-foot birdie putts and had two looks at birdie. It was almost stress-free,” Peterson said after qualifying for the national championship, scheduled to be played May 25-29 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Other than the U.S. Open, it’s about the only [USGA event] I haven’t played in,” Johnson said Friday. “This is a good one because it’s so tough to get into. It’s one day and you’ve got to go deep. The 36-hole qualifiers are good because you can afford to have a mediocre round and still qualify. Here you have to go deep to make it.”
Beginning their round on the 10th tee Friday, Peterson got his team started by sinking a 15-footer for birdie on the opening hole before both Peterson and Johnson rolled in their respective birdie putts on the 13th and 15th holes to turn at 3-under for the round.
Johnson’s approach at the par-4 first hole stopped eight feet from the pin and he would convert his birdie look, while both Peterson and Johnson hit approaches inside of four feet at the second, leading to a second straight birdie to put the twosome at 5-under for the day.
Knocking his second shot to 12 feet at the fifth, Johnson rolled in birdie and added an 8-footer for birdie at the seventh as the two jumped to 7-under. Johnson continued his hot streak to the final hole where he drilled a 15-foot double-breaker for birdie to give his team the lead at 8-under par 64.
“Stress-free except for one hole—our eighth hole of the day—Trent made a great 12-footer to keep our momentum going and from there on we were on cruise control,” Johnson said. “We made good putts and it was just solid golf.”
The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball appearance next spring will a first for both Peterson and Johnson, while the two have teamed up to play the MGA Amateur-Fourball and attempted to qualify for the national four-ball event together twice.
“It’s at Bandon Dunes, which is supposed to be a really nice golf course. It’s at the end of May, so getting the game in shape will be a little tough because I don’t play at all in the winter. Any USGA event is a premiere golf event because they treat you so well,” said Peterson.
Peterson will make his fourth appearance at a USGA event, while Johnson will take part in his 10th national championship.
Joining Peterson and Johnson in Oregon next May is the team of former University of Minnesota golfer David Morgan and current Gopher associate head coach Justin Smith, who carded a 7-under par 65 Friday, surviving a one-hole playoff to earn the final qualifying position.   
“This is my first round as an amateur,” joked Smith, who regained his amateur status in late August. “I haven’t played in any events and it’s been over two years, and it worked out that I got my status back and I said, ‘We’re doing this.’ This is a thrill—I haven’t played much, but I had a good warmup this morning and made some good putts today. Dave was incredible on the front nine. It was a tale of two nines—we each kind of took a nine.”
“I basically let him play and chip in when I can,” Morgan laughed Friday. “We play in a fun Ryder Cup-thing and we’re on opposite teams and use that for inspiration if we can finally play together. We both played solid and we didn’t overlap birdies, which is helpful,” Morgan said.
Smith and Morgan were roommates at Minnesota for two years while playing for the Gophers from 2001 to 2004, winning a national championship together during the 2001-02 season.
Morgan two-putted for birdie at the fourth hole before sinking a short birdie opportunity at the fifth to put the two at 2-under for the round. After rolling in a 15-footer for birdie at the seventh, Smith took control by sinking six birdies over the next nine holes.
Hitting his approach to eight feet at the eighth, Smith converted his birdie putt and carded a second straight birdie at the ninth to put the twosome at 5-under for the tournament.
Taking steps backward with bogeys at the 10th and 12th holes, the two answered by carding a pair of short birdies by Smith at the 13th and 15th holes. Both Smith and Morgan carded birdies at the 16th, getting to 6-under for the day before Smith drilled his birdie chance from 30 feet at the 17th to put the two into a share of second place at 7-under 65.
In the playoff, Morgan sank a 5-footer for birdie to clinch the final qualifying position.
Morgan previously qualified for two U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, while Smith will make his seventh appearance at a national championship, playing in a pair of U.S. Junior Championships and four U.S. Amateur tournaments. His last appearance was at the U.S. Amateur at Winged Foot in 2004.
The twosome of Michael Christensen (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Brad Clark (Chapel Hill, N.C.) finished as first alternate, while Tim Hamm (Austin, Texas) and Aaron Koehler (Minneapolis, Minn.) finished as second alternates.
6,817 YARDS, PAR 72
1. Troy Johnson/Trent Peterson, 31-33—64 (medalist)
T2. David Morgan/Justin Smith, 31-34—65 (qualifier)
T2. Michael Christensen/Brad Clark, 33-32—65 (first alternate)
T4. Tim Hamm/Aaron Koehler, 32-34—66 (second alternate)
T4. Ryan Conn/Ben Freeman, 35-31—66
T6. Kane Hanson/Casey Nelson, 33-34—67
T6. Tim Smith/Tommy Smith, 35-32—67
8. Noah Lawson/Tim Peterson, 34-34—68
T9. Jay Kautt/Joe O’Brien, 35-34—69
T9. Ryan Asleben/Joe McCormick, 34-35—69
T9. Matthew Gibb/Ben Greve, 37-32—69
T9. Gunnar Broin/Jack Johnson, 33-36—69
T9. Tom Freeman/Jason Hasselman, 34-35—69
T9. Chris Junker/Philip Mahal, 33-36—69
T9. Topher Baron/Blake Onkka, 35-34—69
T9. Jake Witham/Matt Witham, 32-37—69


Download Full Results: 2018 US Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifying Results.pdf

6550 York Avenue South, Suite 211 • Edina, MN 55435 • (952) 927-4643 • (800) 642-4405 • Fax: (952) 927-9642
© 2014 Minnesota Golf Association. All Rights Reserved