Backspin Volume 3, Issue 8 - Page 44

this world that I trust more or tell more to than her,” said Johnson. “She will listen to me rant and cry and rave for hours even if she’s already heard it a thousand times before. But I spend 95 percent of my life with her. There have been times where we lay on the floor laugh for hours.” Not only do they laugh and cry together, but they win together. “As a golfer, she’s one of the most talented I’ve ever met,” said Johnson. “She has the ability to not practice for a week then go and shoot a 68. It’s crazy and sometimes frustrates me because I just can’t do that. She’s also the best putter I’ve ever met. Every year at Tri-State Mary and I are paired together to play Alternate Shot and we dominated this year.” Another Mary admires is Paula Creamer, professional golfer for the LPGA. “As a kid, I always looked up to Paula,” said Mary. “I always liked how she carried herself and thought she was similar to me with her swing and her technique.” Like her inspiration, Mary exemplifies long-term dedication to the sport. “[One of my favorite moments was] preparing for and then going to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships at Pinehurst, N.C. for five straight years,” said Tim. “We went every year from age eight to 12. Other than that, [my favorite memories were] winning the two high school state championships and of course the Women’s Am this summer.” Through experiences like these, Tim taught his daughter his most valuable lesson “[I taught her] to never give up,” said Tim. “No matter how bad things are going in life, or in a round of golf, don’t be defeated.” She took notes and applied this to her studies at Hammond High Magnet School, as the IV program accepted her. “The program is very small within the school,” said Mary. “You have to apply to it to get in. It’s an international program that’s really difficult.” When she is not on the course or in the classroom, Mary participates in Key Club, Relay for Life, Hammond High Beta Club, International Baccalaureate Program, Student Council and service projects around her school. “She is responsible; she has a good work ethic,” said Lori. “She started working as a lifeguard the spring she turned 16. She works every chance she has between golf tournaments and is great about helping me with her younger brothers Jack and Ben.” As the competition at her most recent win was intensifying, so were the emotions of Johnson. “When she won the Louisiana State Amateur, I was the first one running on the green to tackle her,” said Johnson. “This sounds crazy, but seeing her win and play great brings me as much joy as when I win. I’ve never been more nervous than watching her play golf knowing how much I wanted her to win. I honestly felt like a nervewracked parent.” For one of her actual parents, this was a shining moment she shared with her daughter. ‘The best recent golf memory was her win at the Women’s Amateur,” said Lori. “It was a great match and the way she finished birdie was so exciting. Mary’s smile holding the trophy is priceless - a moment that is unforgettable.” Someone who helped her get there is her coach, Rob Noel, who works at Money Hill Country Club. “I just started with him three or four months ago and it’s amazing how far he has gotten with me,” said Mary. “There were obvious things that were wrong and he completely fixed them in a matter of months. He is not only a swing