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Honda Classic offers Kamaiu Johnson a second chance at a PGA Tour start

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This should have been a big week for Kamaiu Johnson, an Advocates Professional Golf Tour standout who expected to be teeing it up at the Farmers Insurance Open on a sponsor’s exemption.

That came crashing down on Tuesday after Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. Johnson wrote on social media that his mother was having difficulty breathing due to the virus. He has since tweeted that she is feeling better.

Johnson’s story took a turn for the better on Thursday when Honda Classic officials announced they would reserve a spot in their South Florida event at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, for him.

“Our tournament director Andrew George and I were familiar with Kamaiu from his attempts to qualify for The Honda last year,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “When we heard what happened to him at Farmers this week, we felt strongly that we wanted to give him a chance to play at The Honda Classic. We feel it is important to support the advancement of golfers from our home state.”

Johnson, a 27-year-old old who picked up the game later in life, has spent the bulk of his time in recent years playing professional mini-tour events and the APGA, a tour formed to create opportunities for minority players. He won the Tallahassee Open three times.

“As I said when I first learned that I would be forced to withdraw, a fork in the road often has an interesting way of leading to new opportunities,” Johnson said. “It was beyond disappointing not to be able to play at the Farmers Insurance Open after all of the support that Farmers has shown me and the APGA Tour. Now, to find out that I will still have a chance to fulfill my dream of playing on the PGA Tour is almost overwhelming. I’m so thankful for Honda and the team at The Honda Classic for taking a challenging situation and turning it into a blessing.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/28/pga-tour-honda-classic-kamaiu-johnson-exemption/

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