The Butler Did It: J.M. Wins 107th Clark's Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur
LOUISVILLE, KY (June 17, 2021) – John Marshall 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 now plays college golf 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.”
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.
NOTES & STATS
- A perfect week of weather meant this was the second straight edition of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur to not be affected by any sort of weather delay.
- The par-four 9th was the hardest hole in the final round, which played to a stroke-to-par average of +0.26. It was the only hole Butler made a bogey on today, and eighteen other players also incurred that score or worse on it during the third round.
- For the week, the par-four 14th played as the hardest with a combined average of +0.43.
- For the second consecutive day, the easiest hole was the par-five 15th. Butler’s eagle was one of four made on that hole today. Not a lot of trouble was found here today, as its average was -0.51.
- 15 also took the title of easiest hole throughout the week, with -0.31 being its average rate for all three rounds combined.
- The par-four 11th was set up to be drivable for today’s round, playing approximately ninety yards shorter than it did in rounds one and two. Two players took advantage of that adjustment by making eagle there, being Josh Rhodes (T12) and Andy Roberts (T40).
- The hole was the third-easiest of today’s round after being the eighth-easiest in the first round and the fourth-hardest in the second round.
- Today’s scoring average was a resounding 71.52 as thirty-six players recorded an under-par round to close out the championship.
The Kentucky Golf Association extends its thanks to Eric Gilliland, PGA Head Golf Professional and Chris Knockwafel, GCSAA Head Golf Course Superintendent along with each of their teams for their hard work in making this edition of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur a success. The KGA also expresses appreciation towards the players, their families, spectators, and volunteers for their role in shaping a memorable edition of this storied competition. The 108th Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur will be hosted by Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green on June 14-16, 2022.
Next up on the KGA tournament schedule is the Women’s Kentucky Amateur, which will take place at University of Louisville Golf Club starting this Sunday, June 20. The match-play championship will conclude with the final matches on Wednesday, June 23.