After winning the Minnesota state amateur golf title seven consecutive years (1921-1927), Harrison "Jimmy" Johnston became the first Minnesotan to win U.S. Amateur golf tournament when he won the 1929 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.
Johnston, a St. Paul native who attended St. Paul Academy and Yale University, was a member of six U.S. teams that competed against Britain in the Walker Cup.
Johnston's U.S. Amateur victory in 1929 at Pebble Beach, Calif., was highlighted by a shot out of the Pacific Ocean during the finals against Dr. O.F. Willey.
Willey was 1 up when Johnston hooked his shot on No. 18 down the cliff. Standing in six inches of water, he waited until the waves receded before hitting his shot. His shot traveled 120 yards to within six yards of green. Johnston salvaged a par on the hole. Johnston wound up winning the match, 4 and 3.
Among Johnston's highlights were winning the Western Amateur championship in 1924. He won in the finals with five consecutive birdies after being down by four. He was the runnerup to Bobby Jones at the 1930 British Amateur.
Johnston told the Minneapolis Tribune that the 1930 Walker Cup, which was held at Sandwich, England, was the most satisfying event of his career. In the doubles events, he teamed with Francis Ouimet for a 2 and 1 victory and then he defeated Cyril Tolley, a two-time British Amateur champion, 5 and 4, in his singles match.
In 1950, he was named Minnesota's Golfer of the Half Century and he was elected to the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
HARRISON "JIMMY" JOHNSTON
Teams: Six U.S. Walker Cup teams.