Two of the state’s top high school golfers – Tupelo’s Fletcher Johnson and Itawamba AHS’s Ally McDonald – signed national letters of intent Wednesday with Mississippi State.
“A lot of my decision had to do with being close to home,” said Johnson, who has led THS to three consecutive state championships. “I fell in love with Mississippi State on my visit. It was the best fit for me.”
Johnson, 17, became the youngest player to win the Mississippi Amateur when he captured the 2010 event by seven strokes.
In 2009, he qualified for the United States Amateur Championship. This fall, he was a member of Mississippi three-man team that played in the USGA Men’s State Team Championships in Santa Rosa, Calif.
“Fletcher’s work ethic is second to none,” THS coach Mark Enis said. “He’s always working on something and he’s always got a plan.
“That’s a great quality to have as a high school player.”
Johnson, who plays on regional and national junior circuits, said participating in high school golf is beneficial.
“I enjoy the team aspect,” he said. “It can really prepare you to play college golf.”
Two Indians sign
McDonald, who reached the semifinals of the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur this summer at Pinehurst, N.C., said she “felt at home” at MSU.
“I didn’t want to go too far away,” said McDonald, who selected the Lady Bulldogs over Arkansas, South Carolina and Ole Miss. “I just knew I’d be home there.”
McDonald helped lead IAHS to a 4A state championship in boys golf last spring.
McDonald’s teammate, Taylor Boggs, signed a national letter with Louisiana-Monroe.
“I think they are going to be a good program in a couple of years, so I’m excited about signing with ULM,” Boggs said.
IAHS coach Michael Nanney was excited for his athletes.
“Taylor and Ally have worked hard to get to where they are and I’m proud of them for both signing (NCAA) division one scholarships,” he said.
Contributing: Lee Adams, Itawamba360.com
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal