TULSA, Okla. (July 8, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian’s Sam Johnston shot a 3-over 73 to remain within striking distance of the leaders on Tuesday in the first round of the 111th Trans-Mississippi Championship, one of the nation’s top amateur golf tournaments.
Johnston, a rising junior from San Diego, was six shots behind a trio of golfers – Michael Gellerman of Sterling, Kan.; Alex Franklin of San Rafael, Calif.; and Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas – who each shot a 67 on the par-70, 7,104-yard Southern Hills Country Club course.
Johnston – a two-time NCAA Division II All-America second-team selection for the Eagles – started on No. 10 at historic Southern Hills, the site of numerous major pro and amateur tournaments through the decades. He birdied the par-5 No. 13 but followed with a double bogey at the par-3 No. 14 and a bogey at No. 15.
But Johnston steadied himself the rest of the way and had only one more bogey in his final 12 holes. He ended the day tied for 42nd in the 143-player field.
The Trans-Miss will continue Wednesday, after which the field will be cut to the top 54 players (plus ties). The tournament will end with 36 holes on Thursday. Among the previous winners of the Trans-Miss Championship are Jack Nicklaus, Bob Tway and Ben Crenshaw – all winners of major professional golf championships.