“This wins means a lot,” stated Johnson. “Good players have come though here and played in this tournament. This tells me that I can play with anybody out there and builds my confidence while getting my name out there.” Georgia Tech junior Oliver Schniederjans finished in second place with a score of 21 under and acknowledged that in most events, he would have been victorious without Johnson’s record-breaking performance. “I played great at the tournament,” said Schniederjans. “Both of us hit it good and I played well enough to win but he played amazing.”
The runner-up finish didn’t damper the Yellow Jacket’s enjoyment in playing for a home crowd. “This was awesome because we usually travel all over the place to play in a tournament like this,” said Schniederjans. “I was able to drive myself here and it was nice to have my parents be able to come out and see me without much trouble. I know I can win these tournaments because you become more comfortable over time. The best players in the world finish in second and third before eventually winning.”
Third place finisher Benjamin Griffin, the 11th ranked junior golfer in the country, broke a tournament record with a score of 61 in the first round.
Other local residents shinned during the event, including Milton High School alumnus and current Vanderbilt Commodore Zack Jaworski, who finished tied for 10th in the overall standings with a score of 10 under. Alpharetta native and Mt. Pisgah alum Billy Kennerly finished the Invitational at nine under, good enough to finish tied for 15th. William Mitchell of Roswell and Franco Castro of Alpharetta earned top 40 finishes in the event.
“You couldn’t have asked for anything better than these four days of great golf from a talented field of aspiring PGA professionals,” said Edward Toledano, the chairman of the Dogwood Invitational. “To have a player such as Michael Johnson set a tournament record isn’t something you can expect at the beginning of the week.”
The tournament also promoted the philanthropic endeavors of the organizers. “Having the best amateur golfers playing here is a testament to the strength of the tournament and the sponsorship support of our charities helps more people benefit from the game of golf.”
The Invitational benefited the Atlanta Junior Golf Association, the Wayne Reynolds Scholarship and the PressOn to Cure Childhood Cancer Fund.