Jun 29, 2023

#USJunior Qualifying at Rivercrest

Buttress takes medalist honors

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for Joseph Buttress.

| Scoring Portal | Photos |

Being one of the top two Juniors in Australia, he was awarded with the Cameron Smith Scholarship. Professional golfer Cameron Smith flies the two winners of his scholarship to the United States to get behind the scenes access to life of a professional golfer.

“We got to spend a couple of weeks with him a few weeks ago,” Buttress said. “We got to go to the U.S. Open with him. It was cool. The biggest thing I learned from him is not to take golf so seriously. He’s one of the best players in the world and he’s relaxed. Not everything has to be perfect.”

Enlightened by the experience, Buttress claimed medalist honors in #USJunior Qualifying Thursday at RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve (par 71, 6,627 yards).

The 75th U.S. Junior Amateur will take place July 24-29 at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C.

Buttress fired a round of 64 to claim the top qualifying spot by two over Jake Foley of Dublin, Ireland. Hunter Stetson, of Newtown Square, Pa. carded a 67 for the third spot. Luke Bowen, of Bethesda, Md. birdied the first playoff hole to advance from a 5-for-1 playoff.

“It’s pretty cool to qualify in my first attempt,” Buttress, 17, of Perth, Australia, said. “I look forward to testing myself against the best Juniors in the United States.”

Buttress turned it on when he needed to most. After shooting 1 under on the front he closed in 29. Highlighted by a 4 under stretch on Nos. 15 (par 4, 420 yards), 16 (par 5, 560 yards) and 17 (par 3, 176 yards).

He hit a 50-degree from 117 yards to 10 feet on No. 15 and rolled in a 15-footer for eagle on No. 16.

“64 is one of my better rounds in competition,” Buttress said. “Today was the first time I broke 30 on nine holes so that was awesome.”

Buttress has already committed to play collegiately at the University of Illinois beginning in 2024. His dream is to play professionally and he’s taking the steps he needs to get there.

“The facilities at the University of Illinois are amazing,” Buttress said. “Coach [Mike] Small and his staff have a great program and I can’t wait to get started in the fall of 2024.”

Stetson and Foley

Stetson, a rising senior at Episcopal Academy, has been disappointed with his game of late. But today, he played to his potential and reaped the rewards.

“I am so happy,” Stetson, 17, of Newtown Square, Pa., said. “It shows that all of my hard work is paying off. I have been working hard but I haven’t necessarily been seeing the results on the scorecard. I just have to keep praying and believing in myself.”

Stetson, the reigning club champion at Aronimink Golf Club, lost in the first round of the 109th Junior Boys’ Championship.

“The Junior Boys’ was disappointing,” Stetson said. “I felt like I was playing well coming into the event. I just couldn’t make any putts.”

After playing Nos. 13 (par 3, 188 yards) and 14 (par 4, 420 yards) in 3 over to fall outside the cutline, Stetson regrouped and birdied Nos. 15 and 16. After making par on the last (par 4, 431 yards), he fist pumped his way to his golf bag.

“For me, getting the opportunity to compete in a USGA event will be awesome,” Stetson said. “I feel that if I can get into match play, I can do anything. I am excited to get on such a big stage and prove to myself that I belong.”


Foley is in the United States this summer trying to earn attention to get a college scholarship. This is a good start.

“I’ve been playing golf ever since I was nine,” Foley, 18, said. “All of a sudden it hit me when people started asking me what I wanted to do after high school. I truly believe playing golf in America is the best way for me to create a path to the PGA TOUR. There have been a lot of Irishmen who came here and got dramatically better as a result.”

Bowen earned the last spot by making a birdie on No. 14 to escape a 5-for-1 playoff for the final spot. He hit a pitching wedge from 150 yards to the fringe and canned a 30-footer. 

“It is pretty awesome to qualify for a USGA event,” Bowen, 18, and a rising freshman at Tulane University, said. “It was a great feeling to roll in that putt to qualify. I’m looking forward to the U.S. Junior.”

Name, city, stateScore
Joseph Buttress, Australia64
Jake Foley, Republic of Ireland66
Hunter Stetson, Newtown Square, Pa.67
Luke Bowen, Bethesda, Md.69
Alternates, in order
Matthew Homer, Wilmington, Del.69
Nathan Guertler, Merchantville, N.J.69
Failed to qualify
Cael Ropietski, Harveys Lake, Pa.69
John Hartman, Bethesda, Md.69
Nick Werner, Wilkes Barre, Pa.70
Henry Stone, Austin, Texas71
Alexander Maloy, Potomac, Md.71
Alejandro Caraballo, Williamsburg, Va.71
John Curran, Philadelphia, Pa.71
Tyler Yao, Whittier, Calif.71
Filip Arturo Sakota, Italy71
Joseph Sembrot, Harrisburg, Pa.71
Walker Gantt, Augusta, Ga.71
Matthew Difiore, Malverne, N.Y.72
James Oh, Glen Allen, Va.72
Lance Hollingshead, Basking Ridge, N.J.72
Jeffrey Homer, Wilmington, Del.72
Justin Todd, Kaneohe, Hawaii72
J.P. Hoban, Havertown, Pa.73
Nicholas Riscica, Newtown, Pa.73
Benjamin Pintof, Springfield, Pa.73
Eli Ropietski, Harveys Lake, Pa.73
Michael Henry, Wayne, Pa.73
Peter Barros, Bethesda, Md.73
Nixen Erdely, Fayette City, Pa.74
Isaac Adams, Longview, Texas74
Colby Komancheck, Royersford, Pa.74
Harrison Latimer, Darnestown, Md.75
Jack Dare, Moorestown, N.J.75
Shaoyang Zhang, Middletown, R.I.75
Alec Hamilton, Stonington, Conn.75
Charlie Ferrise, Phoenixville, Pa.76
Benjamin Saggers, West Chester, Pa.76
Travis Robertson, Tequesta, Fla.76
Carter Sica, Saratoga Springs, Fla.76
Kevin Lafond, Blue Bell, Pa.76
Alex Nemo, Bryn Mawr, Pa.77
Jakob Krombholz, Metuchen, N.J.77
Kevin Zheng, Warren, N.J.77
Sheng Hao Wu, Peoples Republic of China77
Seiji Sako, Wynnewood, Pa.77
Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, Kennett Square, Pa.77
Mehdi Ben-Youssef, Tunisia77
Andrew Hwang, McLean, Va.77
Callahan Harrell, York, Pa.78
Jaden Minter, Royersford, Pa.78
Luke Tappeiner, Northfield, N.J.79
Liam McFadden, Villanova, Pa.79
John Stevenson, Ambler, Pa.79
Justin Forman, Sewell, N.J.80
Jack Homer, Wilmington, Del.80
Justin Choi, Columbia, Md.80
Jack Yearley, Wayne, Pa.81
Caleb Walsh, Center Valley, Pa.81
Win Thomas, Unionville, Pa.81
Jingyuan Xiao, Peoples Republic of China81
Zachary Antao, Wilmington, Del.81
Matthew Hurchalla, Wallingford, Pa.82
Yuhao Liu, Peoples Republic of China82
Robert Chuang, Chinese Taipei83
Andrew Eberz, Stroudsburg, Pa.84
Theo Koulianos, Longwood, Fla.85
Christopher Nelson, Winnetka, Ill.85
John Rouse, Philadelphia, Pa.85
Nicky Nemo, Bryn Mawr, Pa.86
Anthony Carson, Broomall, Pa.86
Baden Hancock, Clarks Summitt, Pa.87
Samuel Zhang, Palo Alto, Calif.92
Jack Rosen, Boca Raton, Fla.92
Jaxson Wiernik, Phoenixville, Pa.95
Josiah Zi Ang Wang, Hong Kong, ChinaNS
* – determined in a playoff
NS – no show

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Share This: