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Rookie Matt Johnson Notches Win in Fourth Professional Start

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In his fourth professional start, Matt Johnson notched his first professional victory. And, he did so by leading wire to wire. 
The Fairfax, Va. native shot even-par 72 Thursday to finish at seven-under 209 and claim the $5,000 first-place check in the Tarheel Tour's Raintree Invitational on the South Course at Raintree Country Club. Johnson, coming off an all-conference senior season at Winthrop University, started the day one shot ahead of David Sanchez and three shots up on Frank Adams III. When Sanchez missed a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18, nothing had changed. All three in the final group shot 72.
"Frank was three under on the front nine and the whole day it seemed like we were all within one shot of each other," said Johnson. "They had a couple of close misses coming down the stretch and I was able to make pars and hold on." 
Although he'd tasted victory before as an amateur, Johnson was fired up about his first professional win.
"I won five times in college, which was great, and I made it to NCAA Regionals as a senior, which was fun -- but this was huge for me," he said. "I want to be a professional golfer for a living, so this is a big step." 
Sanchez, of Pinehurst, won $3,000 for finishing second at 210, while Brazil's Fernando Mechereffe and Kyle Bradley of North Augusta, S.C., overtook Adams to tie for third at 211 and earn $1,750 apiece.
Adams finished in a five-way tie for fifth at 212 with Ben Case of Charlotte, Kevin Taylor of Mocksville, Jason Martin of Lenoir and David Siegel of Charlotte. All five pocketed $1,160.
The next event on the Tarheel Tour is the NorthStone Open, Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville.
Tarheel Professional Tour
Raintree Invitational
Final Results
Raintree C.C. South Course
Par 72 -- 6,859 Yards
Matt Johnson, Fairfax, Va., $5,000 68-69-72--209
David Sanchez, Pinehurst, $3,000 69-69-72--210
Fernando Mechereffe, Brazil, $1,750 72-68-71--211
Kyle Bradley, N. Augusta, SC, $1,750 70-70-71--211
Frank Adams III, Laurinburg, $1,160 72-68-72--212
Ben Case, Charlotte, $1,160 71-70-71--212
Kevin Taylor, Mocksville, $1,160 75-66-71--212
David Siegel, Charlotte, $1,160 69-74-69--212
Jason Martin, Lenoir, $1,160 70-73-69--212
Justin Young, Roanoke, Va., $908.33 69-71-74--214
Derek Brown, Walnut Cove, $908.33 73-70-71--214
Jason Moon, Wake Forest, $908.33 71-71-72--214
Patrick Mitchell, Beaufort, SC, $681.25 72-70-73--215
Matt Cannon, Huntersville, $681.25 72-70-73--215
Brett Boner, Charlotte, $681.25 72-70-73--215
Karl Mitchell, Greensboro, $681.25 71-69-75--215
David Seawell, Columbia, SC, $566.66 75-71-70--216
Pat McGowan, Southern Pines, $566.66 70-71-75--216
Josh Wilson, Monroe, $566.66 72-69-75--216
Andy Bare, Pinehurst, $487.50 76-70-71--217
Stewart Moore, Charlotte, $487.50 74-69-74--217
Adam Gary, Franklin, Tenn., $108.25 73-73-72--218
Matt Kilgo, Charlotte, $108.25 74-72-72--218
John McAllister, Spartanburg, $108.25 72-74-73--219
Josh Dickinson, Matthews, $108.25 71-73-NC