Owings Mills, MD – Travis Johnson (Kinloch Golf Club) came into the 2022 National Car Rental MAPGA Assistant Championship playing great golf. He won the Stroke Play Championship a few weeks prior and got off to a great start in the first round at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.
He birdied the short par-4 2nd hole and played clean golf through the front nine, shooting one-under 34. The back nine at Green Spring Valley played easier throughout the tournament, with only one par-3 and par being 37. Johnson took advantage, making four birdies to one bogey to finish with a 4-under 68. That put him in a tie at the top with Ryan Shuck (Kinloch Golf Club) with one round to go.
The two at the top had a lot of competition behind them. There were five other players within two shots heading into the final round. Johnson got off to another steady start, paring the first eleven holes. Johnson made bogey on the 385-yard par 4 12th and the leaderboard started tightening up. Jay Newcomb (The Suburban Club of Baltimore) and Keith Cooper (Princess Anne Country Club) hung around and started making their move on the back nine. Newcomb made birdies on 11, 12, and 14 to bounce back from a tough front nine and to within one of the lead. Cooper played steady golf, playing the front nine even par and birdieing the 10th hole to get within a shot of Johnson. Newcomb and Cooper each birdied the Par-5 16th to tie the lead with Johnson playing behind them. Johnson hit it left off the tee on 16 but made an incredible recovery shot. A low running hook under a tree got him back in the fairway only 50 yards from the green. A great approach to 4 feet set him up for birdie and what would be the tournament clinching putt. He made par on 17 and 18 to win by one shot over Newcomb and Cooper.
Six MAPGA Professionals punched their ticket to the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship in November. Travis Johnson, Jay Newcomb, Keith Cooper, and Tim Ritter (Army/Navy Country Club) earned their spot by finishing in the top-4. Ritter beat Steve Delmar (Columbia Country Club) on the 8th playoff hole to decide the 4th position. Larkin Gross (Springfield Golf & Country Club) and Ashley Grier (Yinglings Golf Center) were exempt into the national event for playing on the PGA Cup team.
Thank you to Mike Adkins and his staff at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club for being gracious hosts!