LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA | Kamaiu Johnson’s lost week turned into an abundance of opportunity.
After news of Johnson’s forced withdrawal from the Farmers Insurance Open due to a positive COVID-19 test – it would have been Johnson’s first PGA Tour start – both the Honda Classic and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am awarded him spots in their respective events.
Additionally, Johnson’s mother – who was rushed to a Florida hospital with coronavirus-related issues the same day her son was forced to withdraw – was expected to be released on Sunday.
“I can’t really explain the turn of events. It happened so fast,” Johnson said on a video call with reporters Friday while he still was quarantining. “It’s been amazing how many people have reached out to me.”
Last Tuesday evening, after his positive test and the news about his mother, Johnson posted on social media that he was in “a nightmare from hell.”
Johnson said he cried for an hour after being forced to withdraw only to find out later about his mother’s condition. He had received the invitation from Farmers Insurance – which now sponsors him – in October, giving him three months to look forward to the event.
Now, one missed start has turned into two invitations. Additionally, his friend Willie Mack III – who played in Johnson’s spot and missed the cut at Torrey Pines last week – also will play the Pebble Beach event, giving the Advocates Professional Golf Association two members in the PGA Tour field.
While the Farmers Insurance Open went on without him, Johnson stayed in a local hotel. He had one difficult night related to COVID-19 but quickly rebounded. Johnson had a putting mat in his room as well as exercise bands and he used those to stay active.
The invitations from the two PGA Tour events were unexpected.
“This is absolutely happening in the aftermath of what happened,” Johnson said. “I had no clue. ”
Ron Green Jr.