Defending champion Kade Johnson is back playing golf in Saskatchewan and has hopes of winning another title while he’s north of the border.
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The athlete, born and raised in Yorkton, Sask., has been enjoying a scholarship the last few years in the United States, specifically as a member of the Southern Arkansas University’s Muleriders golf team.
“I thought it was going to be a lot tougher to juggle golf and school, but it is not. As long as you have a good schedule put forward, and when you need to get homework done, you got to do it. You don’t want to keep falling behind,” Johnson said.
“The coach will get after you if you fall behind your skill work. So if you have a chance to go, you got to do it. It is just unbelievable.”
During the recent summer days, Johnson can be found at the Deer Park Municipal Golf Course in Yorkton. It is a course that he’s played hundreds of times and credits it and its members for a lot of his success.
“Part of the reason, I think, I’ve been having a successful golf career so far is just the support. They text me during tournaments, and saying ‘how are you doing?’, and ‘keep it up,’” Johnson said.
“If I was able to come back one day as either a PGA Tour player or a PGA winner and be able to give back to this golf course, that would mean the world to me.”
Over the last couple of weeks, Johnson has been fine-tuning his game to defend his title as he is looking to become the first golfer in 10 years to repeat as the Saskatchewan men’s amateur champion.
He would also be following in the footsteps of a golfer that he looks up to, Weyburn native Graham DeLaet, who won the championship back-to-back in his day.
“Just to see that a guy was able to be that successful on the PGA Tour from Saskatchewan, is something very encouraging,” Johnson said.
“To know that a guy from Saskatchewan had the same golf season … (DeLaet) is trying to come back, and even if he doesn’t, he still had an amazing career.”
The Saskatoon Golf and Country Club is playing host to the 108th provincial men’s amateur golf championship, which started on July 16.
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