One of the most talented, consistent golfers that Sampson County has seen over the past four years has signed his National Letter of Intent to play college golf at Sandhills Community College. Evan Johnson, the Union High School senior, signed his letter of intent following the 1A Mid-East Regional Championship on Monday at Coharie Country Club.
During the regional round in tough conditions, Johnson finished just 2 shots out of first place, and qualified to play in next week’s state championship at Longleaf Golf Club in Pinehurst.
Upon signing his letter of intent, Johnson mentioned that it was an easy choice, and with the school being in Pinehurst, he knew that he had made a good golf decision. When he heard of the nursing program as well, he knew it was a perfect fit for him to begin his college career.
“Pinehurst is pretty much the golf capital of the world,” said Johnson. “Pretty much everybody there will bend over backwards to try to help you with your game, as long as you are willing to help yourself. I really like the atmosphere of that place. Pinehurst is a great place for golf. When you throw on top of that, the fact that they had a good nursing program, I was all in.”
Johnson plans to study and play for two years, then has his eyes set on continuing both his golf and education at a 4-year university.
“I would love for a 4-year school to notice me and what I do at Sandhills,” he said. “I want to get the nursing degree and keep playing golf. A dream of mine is to improve enough in golf to find my way to the PGA Tour one day, but I’m staying in the moment, and taking things one step at a time. I am really pleased with how the process is going now though.”
Johnson’s head golf coach for the past 4 seasons, Tim Pope, knows that he has had quite a special player, and really admires his hard work.
“Evan knew that he needed to work on his ball striking, and he started working with Dickie Walters, the head pro at Coharie. It has really shown, and his hard work has paid off. The difference can be seen in his scores,” said Pope. “He is the kind of person and player that always wants to get better, and is willing to work hard to get where he wants to go.”
Johnson mentioned that he is very thankful for Pope and the work that he put in, helping him play in college.
“Pope is always there for anything I need,” said Johnson. “If I have a golf problem, or just need to talk, Pope is there. He has done a lot for me, and handled a lot of the business side of things in the recruitment process. I am super thankful for him and everything he has done for me since day one when I started playing golf here as a freshman. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for him.”
Johnson will be a part of the Flyer golf team and play under head coach Gus Ulrich, starting next fall, but first, he has two rounds of high school golf left.
“I am very excited for the state championship rounds,” he said. “Knowing that these will be my last rounds as a Spartan, well that’s kinda sad, but at the same time, I have to just go out there and do my thing. I have to play with confidence and play my game. I feel like this is something that I can win if I play like I know how both days. I am really looking forward to it, and whether or not I win or even play well, I am going to soak it all up and have a great time playing.”
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585