Resorters golf: Troy Johnson stands atop Men’s Executive Division for fifth straight year
Maple Grove golfer's consistency shines through again at this year's Resorters.
ALEXANDRIA — Troy Johnson of Maple Grove has gotten to the point at the Resorters Tournament in Alexandria where everyone knows him as the guy to beat each year in the Men’s Executive Division.
Four straight championships will do that. But one key reason Johnson has now won a fifth straight title in this division at the week-long match-play event is because he does not concern himself with expectations or even winning in the midst of his round.
“I really didn’t think too much about that. I was just really focused on my game,” Johnson said. “I didn’t feel like I was swinging all that great this week, but just tried to be patient and get through the round.”
Consistent winners in golf will often talk about each swing being its own entity that they put their full focus on. Johnson does that as well as anyone at the Resorters.
He qualified for this year’s championship flight as the sixth seed after shooting a 1-over par 73. Johnson then rolled through his first three rounds of match play, winning 5-4, 4-3 and 8-7.
On Saturday morning, he beat Andrew Olson in a 4-3 match in the semifinals.
That sent him to a match against Owatonna’s Chad Hacker on Saturday afternoon. Hacker, the fourth seed, pushed Johnson as much as he was pushed all week, but Johnson used a stretch of wins at hole 6 with birdie and holes 7, 9 and 11 with pars to secure the 2-1 win.
“I think it’s more a mentality. I think I have a pretty patient game, and I just try to play it hole by hole,” Johnson said of what helps him stay so consistent at the Resorters. “I don’t get ahead of myself, worry too much about the score. I just try to hit one shot at a time and take it from there.”
Hacker got the match to within two by winning hole 15 with a par. Both parred No. 16, meaning Hacker needed 17 and 18 to force a playoff.
Johnson stepped to the tee box on the par-three 17th and hit it to within 10 feet of the cup. That all but wrapped things up as both players parred to end the match.
“I wasn’t quite sure where he was at, but I knew if I could just get one on the green and par the hole that we would probably get the job done,” Johnson said.
Johnson will be 51 years old in September and the competition golf brings him is what keeps him so active in the game. He used an off day at the Resorters between qualifying and match play on Aug. 2 to play in a qualifier in Prior Lake for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Johnson shot a 1-under par at The Wilds Golf Club that day. He finished as the second alternate for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, falling just shy of qualifying outright after Alexandria native Bryce Hanstad and two others tied for first with rounds of 69.
“For this tournament, that’s really what keeps me going,” Johnson said of the competition at the Resorters. “When I’m not swinging my best, I think it’s the competition that gets me through those rounds. Some guys might get a little bit shaken on hitting a few bad shots, but I don’t really let it bother me too much. Just try to keep going to the next hole.”
It was a fun week for the whole Johnson family. Troy’s son, Aidan, played in the tournament and was his caddie during the finals. Troy’s wife, Tiffany, also finished off her Resorters Tournament by winning the first flight of the Women’s Executive Division.
“It was a great week for the Johnson family,” Troy said. “We create so many memories up here. That’s really what it’s all about more than winning. We just have 20, 30 people up here. We create great memories and fun times. Hopefully getting our family to keep loving golf.”
Johnson hugged Aidan on the 17th green after winning his fifth title when a fan from the gallery shouted out that it’s time for him to jump to the Men’s Championship Division. That field is filled with college-aged players, and it sounds like a challenge he might be up for next summer.
“I’m definitely thinking about it,” Johnson said with a smile. “We’ll see how much weight I gain over the winter.”