Masters winner won Hooters Tour event at Cambrian Ridge in 2001

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2007

Although Greenville, Ala., is approximately 350 miles from Augusta, Ga., that distance became much shorter over the weekend.

The reason the two cities share a common bond is Zach Johnson.

Johnson, 31, won his first major golf championship Sunday as he took home The Masters title with a two-shot advantage over Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen and Rory Sabbatini.

Johnson also won the Hooters Tour event held at Robert Trent Jones Cambrian Ridge course in Greenville the week of Sept. 23, 2001.

During the four-day tournament, Johnson shot a 69-66-65-70 for a total of 270.

His 18-under par victory earned him $22,000, just $1,283,000 short of what he won Sunday at The Masters.

Along with his victory at Cambrian Ridge, Johnson also went on to win Player of the Year honors during 2001.

Johnson's victory makes him the 10th Hooters Tour alumnus to win a major event.

&#8220We had forgot until (Monday) morning that (Johnson) won the event out here,” Cambrian Ridge Director of Golf Bryan Reynolds said. &#8220I would say he's the only Masters winner we've ever had play here.”

Vaughn Taylor, who finished tied for 10th at The Masters Sunday, also played in the 2001 Hooters Tour tournament event at Cambrian Ridge.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said he remembers meeting Johnson that day in 2001 and, now, it is something he'll never forget.

&#8220At least, now, I can say I've met a Masters champion,” McLendon said.