Kamaiu Johnson was getting ready for one of the best weeks of his professional life, preparing to compete in the PGA Tour’s 2021 Farmers Insurance Open.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse, however, when he tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to withdraw from the tournament. Later that day, Johnson’s mother was taken to a hospital as she was struggling after testing positive for the virus as well.
This is turning into a nightmare from hell my mom has just been rush to the hospital not being able to breathe due to COVID 19. Pray for my family please.
— Kamaiu Johnson (@KamaiuJohnson) January 27, 2021
Johnson’s mother has been improving, but he seemingly would have to lose out on his opportunity to make his PGA Tour debut.
Fortunately, a pair of PGA Tour events have stepped up to help launch Johnson’s PGA Tour career. First, The Honda Classic, then the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am offered sponsor exemptions to Johnson, turning one potential start into two.
— The Honda Classic (@TheHondaClassic) January 28, 2021
— AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (@attproam) January 29, 2021
Johnson responded on Twitter, saying, “This entire week has been mind-blowing. To go from rock bottom, totally devastated on Tuesday to receiving this exemption from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and AT&T just shows how quickly things can change.
“My message to start the week as how the actions of a few people and special companies can change a life. Look no further than what AT&T, Farmers and Honda have done for me this week alone and the impact it will have. I am so grateful for the opportunity.”
Johnson, who plays on the Advocates Pro Golf Tour, dropped out of middle school. One day as he skipped school, he discovered golf by accident by swinging a stick outside his grandmother’s home. A local golf pro noticed, nurtured his interest and started him on an incredible journey that saw him become a professional golfer and ultimately earn his GED. He’s become a standout on the APGA, which invests in up-and-coming pros with an emphasis on increasing diversity in professional golf.