Troy Johnson wins fourth straight Men’s Execs title at the Resorters
Experience pays dividends down the stretch for Johnson as St. Cloud's Daryl Schomer makes a late run.
Troy Johnson of Maple Grove has been as consistent as a player gets at the Resorters Tournament over the last four years, and nothing changed during the 2021 tournament at the Alexandria Golf Club.
Johnson won his fourth straight Men’s Executive championship on Saturday. For the second time during that run, the finals win came against four-time division champion Daryl Schomer of St. Cloud. Johnson beat Schomer in a 3-2 match in 2018. On Saturday, he won a 2-1 final after he had beaten Chad Bisson 3-2 earlier in the morning during the semifinals. Schomer won a 5-4 match over perennial contender Andy Petersen in the semis.
“It means a lot,” Johnson said of his fourth straight title. “I started off a little shaky in the semifinals and found my game a little bit. I knew going into the finals against Daryl that it was going to be a tough match. He played great in the semifinals, so it felt good getting the job done because I knew he’d be a tough opponent.”
Both Schomer and Johnson played well throughout their round as Johnson was 1-under par on the front and Schomer was even. It was all square going to the back before Johnson used birdie wins at 11 and 12 and a par win at 14 to go 3-up.
Schomer still had a run in him. He parred Nos. 15 and 16 after Johnson opened the door a bit with a couple of missed putts that were testers, but ones he often makes.
“It really wasn’t the putts. It was more my second shots,” Johnson said. “I didn’t execute the shots I really wanted to hit. I guess my mentality was, ‘Hey, I’m still winning. Make a couple good swings.’ Unfortunately, Daryl gave me a window on 17 there. I made a good swing and 2-putted for the par. That stuff happens, and I try not to let it bother me.”
Schomer was down one heading to the par-3 17th when he hit his tee shot into the front, right bunker. Johnson stepped up and put it right over the front bunker onto the green. Schomer could not get up and down from the sand to force an 18th hole.
Johnson, who plays amateur events across the country, has been there and done that so many times in big rounds. That’s why moments like Saturday when Schomer started to inch closer don’t seem to phase him.
“That is a big key for me in terms of playing a lot of competitive, big tournament rounds,” Johnson said. “Just not letting those little things, one shot here or there, really get you down. That’s where I have an advantage over a lot of players. Especially in bigger matches, I try to just be light about it. Try to take the positive out of the round and move on if I don’t make a good swing. It’s a golf round, and that’s more the way I think about it.”
Johnson and Schomer helped put on a good show as they played with Men’s Championship Division finalists Braeden Sladek and Kelly Brown in front of one of the biggest galleries of spectators seen at the Resorters in recent years.
“For me, I feel a little bit of an advantage because I don’t really think too much about it,” Johnson said. “But it does give you that little boost of adrenaline. Sometimes maybe it freaks your opponent out a little bit, so I feel like maybe it’s an advantage for me because I try not to let it bother me at all. It’s the same thing. I’m just trying to go through my routine.”
That routine has been spot on for Johnson in each of the last four years. He’s excited to come back in 2022 and try to add to his legacy at the Resorters.
“Some people give me a hard time for not playing in the (Men’s Championship Division),” Johnson said. “I normally have had some work conflicts, so it just hasn’t allowed me to do it. Since I’ve kept winning, I feel like it’s kind of fun to come back as the defending champion.”