Cathy Johnston Forbes was born in High Point, North Carolina but spent a lot of time in Wilmington, North Carolina where her father, Johnny Johnston, worked as golf pro for Echo Farms Golf & Country Club. She started playing golf at the age of seven, winning her first tournament at Pine Valley Country Club in the summer of 1971 where she shot an 82 for nine holes. Cathy won the prestigious 1980 Orange Bowl International Junior Championship and the 1981 PGA National Junior Championship while being a top ranked junior player.
During her college years at the University of North Carolina, Cathy won the Memphis State Intercollegiate and placed third at the 1981 and 1983 Eastern Amateur. She qualified for the LPGA tour on her first attempt. Cathy’s first LPGA victory came in 1990 when she became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the du Maurier Ltd. Classic. In 1997 she tied for second in the Susan B. Komen International and posted her career low score of 64 during the second round of the Welch’s/Circle K Championship. She also recoded her first LPGA career hole-in-one during the second round of the Cup O’ Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open. In 2000, she tied for fourth at the Nabisco Championship and crossed the $1 million mark in career earnings after the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.
The Cathy Johnston Forbes Golf Tournament is celebrating its ninth anniversary as an event that raises thousands of dollars annually for Easter Seals United Cerebral Palsy programs. In addition to family and philanthropy, Cathy works as a teaching pro for Kilmarlic Golf Club in the Outer Banks.