Former Clemson All-American Kevin Johnson won the Rex Hospital Open on the Nationwide Tour at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, NC on Sunday. Johnson won the tournament in a one-hole playoff with Jeff Gallagher a former player at Ball State in the mid-1980s.
It was a battle of 40-year olds as Johnson is now 42 and Gallagher is 45.It was the fifth career Nationwide Tour event victory for Johnson, who also won the 1997 Puget Sound Open, the 1999South Carolina Classic, the 2000 Permian Basin Open and the 2006 Wichita Open.
Johnson shot a 72 hole total of 266 after carding rounds of 65-69-65-67 on the par 71 course. The 266 total was the same score he had in winning his last event, the 2006 Wichita Open.
Johnson had a one shot lead entering the final round, but Gallagher had a 64 in the final round and finished ahead of Johnson by 40 minutes with a one shot lead. Johnson needed a birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff and he converted on a four-foot birdie putt to force the playoff.
Johnson and Gallagher both reached the green in regulation on the first playoff hole, the par five 18th. But, Gallagher missed a six-foot putt for birdie and Johnson made his five-footer to claim the championship.
Johnson moved up from 24th to fourth on the Nationwide Tour money list with the $94,500 paycheck. He has now won $146,879 this year and has won $961,382 for his career on that tour. He is now 14th on the all-time Nationwide Tour money list.
Johnson’s goal is to finish the year in the top 25 as the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour earn a PGA tour card for 2010. Johnson has played on the PGA Tour just one year (2001) since he turned professional in 1990. Johnson has now made eight of 10 cuts this year.
Johnson was a three-time All-American at Clemson between 1985-89. He won the ACC Championship in 1988 and was also a member of the United States Walker Cup team in 1989after winning the 1987 United States Public Links Championship.