The future was out there,as if illuminated by neon. Johnson was a young man who seemed to have it all. He was a star golfer and student and a person of modesty and manners. “He had just unlimited talent, but more important he was just a great individual to be around,” said Al Del Greco, golf coach at Spain Park High School, which was reeling after Johnson was killed March 25 when his SUV collided with a tractor trailer outside his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. “He was just a great kid to coach.” An honor student who loved the Auburn Tigers and dreamed of playing for them, Johnson was an AJGA All-American and U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up in 2005, losing 5 and 3 to Kevin Tway in the final, the best run by an Alabamian in the event’s history. Johnson’s Spain Park golf teammates took a while to recover from the tragedy but, wearing bracelets and caps honoring his memory, beat the odds and qualified for the state high school championship. The Jaguars, led by Trey Del Greco’s medalist effort, finished third. “It was a huge accomplishment on their part,” said Al Del Greco. “It makes you shake your head and think Bradley was looking down, shining good stuff on us.”
What Others Have To Say
"There are a lot of great stories about Bradley Johnson and his outgoing personality and high character. One of my favorites is when Bradley arrived home at the Birmingham airport after finishing runner-up at the United States Junior. There were a lot of people and press at the airport. Bradley said something like “wow, I wonder who they are here to see.” The people and the press were there to see Bradley and it never occurred to him.
I only had one encounter with Bradley. It was before I even played golf. Bradley was playing at our home course and we live across the street from a par 3. Our neighbor knew about Bradley and told us Bradley was going to be famous one day and to ask him for an autograph. Now, this encounter was not life changing for either of us. All I remember was a really nice guy being kind to a few kids that knew little of the game he played.
Fast forward and the stories come together. The talented junior golfer with the infectious personality and class on and off the course has his life ended in a tragic car accident. The little boy with the autograph falls in love with the game Bradley played. I am but one tiny story of Bradley’s life. He loved God. He loved his family. He loved people. He loved life and he loved a game he seemed to be born to play.
My goal is to honor what Bradley represents; a good person that played a game with love, class and character. It is said that a life well lived can be measured by not only what one accomplishes but also by what one leaves behind. Through Birdies for Bradley, I humbly look to honor his legacy for junior golf. Your contributions will allow those in need to afford expenses associated with competing in junior golf events. There are a lot of junior golfers that love the game and want to compete. The Foundation is run by those closest to Bradley and they will ensure your donations go to those that play the game for love and with character. Thank you for supporting junior golf. "
— John K. Hayden
"I first met Bradley when he was eight years old. I was immediately impressed with his love of golf and his competitiveness. From that time on, I watched Bradley play a lot of golf on the Dixie PGA Section Junior tour that I ran for the PGA and other tournaments. Bradley became the most outstanding junior golfer to play in the State of Alabama.
The most important gift Bradley had was his love of God. He had the personality to make everyone he met feel as if they were his best friend. He was a role model for his peers. I count it a true blessing to have known Bradley and his family."
— Chris Burns, PGA
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