Ex-Jaguar Johnson punches ticket to the 2008 PGA Tour

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. - Former Augusta State golfer Richard Johnson shot 4-under-par 67 to win the Nationwide Tour's Mark Christopher Charity Classic on Sunday, assuring him a spot on the PGA Tour in 2008.

The victory, which came when Johnson birdied the first hole of sudden death to eliminate Jeremy Anderson and Matthew Jones, vaulted him from 12th to fourth on the Nationwide money list. He won $94,500, giving him $305,921 this season.

There are only four tournaments left this season, and the top 25 on the money list at the end of the year will earn 2008 PGA Tour playing cards.

"It was pretty much a lock, but this really does it now," Johnson said in a phone interview after his victory.

It will be the first trip to the big tour for the 35-year-old Johnson, who played for Augusta State from 1991-95.

After turning pro, Johnson lived in Augusta from 1995-2002 before moving to Fort Smith, Ark., to be near his girlfriend. They were married last week.

It is Johnson's third victory on the tour, but the first since the 2000 Monterey Peninsula Classic, when it was called the buy.com Tour. He had finished runner-up twice this season.

"My time was today, I guess," Johnson said.

Johnson rallied with a back nine 4-under-par 32 on Sunday with birdies on Nos. 13-16. He finished at 11-under 273, as did Anderson and Jones, who closed with 66s.



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