Spain Park High School golfer Andrew Tomko. Photo by Karim Shamsi-Basha.
The ninth annual Bradley Johnson Memorial Tournament was competed over the Legacy Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club April 8-9.
Mountain Brook came away with the team title by eight strokes over host Spain Park. Northridge-Tuscaloosa’s William Walker, a UAB signee, was the individual medalist at 145.
Among the other local teams in the 15-team invitation-only event, Homewood posted a fifth-place finish, Briarwood Christian was seventh and Hoover was 15th.
The all-tournament team was Patrick Marin, Spain Park; Jonathan Eyster, Mountain Brook; Ben Fuller, Mountain Brook, Alex Green, Fairhope; William Buhl, Bayside; and William Walker, Northridge, medalist.
The tournament is played every year and in honor and memory of Spain Park golfer Bradley Johnson, a rising star as a junior golfer. Johnson was an American Junior Golf Association All-American and the U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up in 2005, losing 5&3 in the final to Kevin Tway – who has gone on to play on the PGA Tour – the best finish ever by an Alabamian in the event.
Tragically, Johnson was killed March 25, 2006, when his green Chevy Blazer was hit by a tractor-trailer near Birmingham. After spending the night with his two best friends at a lake house about an hour from his home, Johnson reached a stop sign on a rural county road. He pulled too far into the intersection. An 18-wheeler crashed into his SUV. His friends were knocked out, but survived.
His life was cut short on the verge of a burgeoning golf career. Johnson was planning to play a practice round for a state tournament that day. Later that weekend, he was going to reveal to his family which one of three SEC scholarship offers – Auburn, Georgia or Alabama – he would accept.
His death sent shock waves not only through the Hoover community but through the world of junior golf as well.
The Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation, Inc., was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to providing financial resources for junior golfers, from helping to fund tournaments and to provide scholarship money.
The BJMF – bjmf.org– has given out more than $100,000 to golfers. Also, a program called “Birdies for Bradley” was established through the AJGA thanks to a grant from the Achieving Competitive Excellence program. It’s another way the BMJF helps talented young golfers get a chance to continue to p lay, even if they do not have a lot of financial resources.