John Marshall Butler
2021 Kentucky Amateur champion J.M. Butler
is a champion of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur and the new owner of the low score in championship history.
One of the top young talents in Kentucky golf for the last several years, Thursday marks a keystone moment in the career of the 19-year old from Louisville who recently completed his freshman year at Auburn University. With a total score of 198 (-18), he has not only won the most historic championship in Kentucky golf, but also set the new bar for the best 54-hole score in the tournament’s history.
Beginning the day three shots clear of Cooper Collins
, Butler got off to a fast start in his final round with birdies on holes 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8. His chasers did not make it a walk in the park for him, however, as Collins shot 32 (-4) on his outward nine. Playing in the group ahead of them, Devin Morley also had a front nine of 32 (-4) before adding quick birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th holes to cut Butler’s lead to two at one point during the back nine.
Butler was not to be denied though, as an eagle putt he rolled in from approximately twenty feet on the par-five 15th put his cushion back at four strokes entering the final three holes. Collins made birdie on the 16th to trim Butler’s lead back to three, but mistake-free golf from Butler down the stretch made him impossible to catch.
For good measure, the champion made birdie on the 18th after striking his approach to five feet. Once that putt was made, it was officially a four-stroke margin of victory for Butler over Collins, who finished in solo second place. Devin Morley finished in third place, seven shots behind Butler.
“It’s pretty dang cool to be holding this trophy and looking at all the names who have won this before,” Butler said. “It means a lot, especially with my family being here because they don’t get to see all of my tournaments. Having them here makes it that much more special. After I made the eagle on the 15th, I kind of knew I had the tournament won, but I really wanted to get to -20. I came up a little short of that, but I’ll still gladly take -18.”
Setting scoring records and while collecting trophies is nothing new to Butler, who won last year's Sizzler Amateur at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale with a record 16-under par total of 200.
In addition to winning the championship, Butler was also presented with the accolades of having the championship’s low score in both round two and round three. Runner-up Cooper Collins was recognized as the player with the low score from round one, while Devin Morley was saluted as the tournament’s top public-links finisher. Jay Nimmo (T12) was the championship’s low junior, while Tony Wise (T38) was the low senior.
ABOUT THE Kentucky Amateur
54-hole stroke play championship. Prizes will be
awarded in the
following categories: Section Medalist, Low Scorer in
each round, Low Junior, Low Senior, Low Public Links
contestant, runner-up and champion.
Entrants in all KGA tournaments shall be required to
have an active Handicap Index at a Kentucky Golf
Association Member Club at the time of entry and
meet the championship’s residency requirements.
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