Skateboards to Golf Clubs for Johnson

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Richard S. Johnson tried skateboarding and handball while growing up in Sweden. He can thank a girlfriend and her family for turning him onto golf when he was 15.
 
Richard Johnson'Her family was playing a bit of golf, and she was going away to France. I didn't have much to do for two weeks. I just tried to go out and hit a few balls and fell in love with the game,' Johnson said.
 
Now Johnson is a rookie on the PGA Tour, and the Swede finds himself leading a tournament. He has shared a one-stroke lead after each of the first two rounds, including a split atop the leaderboard with John Huston after the second round of the St. Jude Classic.
 
Johnson, who broke seven ribs, his hand and a foot as a skateboarder, played his way onto the PGA Tour by finishing 11th in the qualifying tournament last year. He had never played a tour event before this year, sticking with the PGA European Tour between 2000 and 2002.
 
This year, he has missed six cuts in 13 events, and his best finish was a tie for 42 at the FBR Capital Open earlier this month.

He has gotten his game going at the TPC at Southwind. He played seven holes Friday morning to wrap up a 7-under-par 64, then turned in a 66 for a 12-under 130 total.
 
'There's a long way left. We're only halfway there,' Johnson said. 'I'm really happy to be on top for the moment. If I can continue playing like I've done, I'm feeling pretty confident this is going to go pretty good.'
 
Divots: Both Brenden Pappas and Stan Utley ran into trouble on the par-3 No. 11, which cost them making the cut. Pappas was at 7 under going into the back nine Friday, while Utley was 6 under. Both bogeyed No. 10, then each took 9s after having trouble finding the island green. ... Peoples had a hole-in-one on No. 8, hitting an 8-iron 174 yards. ... Joel Kribel also had a hole-in-one on the par-3 island green at No. 11. He hit an 8-iron 182 yards. ... Ty Tryon had best front nine Friday with a 29, but he finished with a 71 and missed the cut with a 146 total.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the FedEx St. Jude Classic
  • FedEx St. Jude Classic Leaderboard
     
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