Two of GolfWA’s High Performance athletes, WAGC’s Joseph Buttress and Joondalup’s Amie Phobubpa are currently plying their trade against some of the world’s best juniors in San Diego, California.
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The IMG Academy Junior World Championships began in 1968 as a product of the San Diego Junior Golf Association and have been played every year since.
“The idea behind the Junior World Golf Championships is simply “YOUTH.” The San Diego County Junior Golf Association is founded on the principle of serving young people, in the hope that by doing so today’s youth will have a better chance of creating the world we all want”, read the original 1968 Junior World Championships program.
Fellow GolfWA HP athlete Connor McKinney competed in the event in 2019 and finished a very respectable 3rd at -9. However, this year it is Buttress and Phobubpa looking to make a name for themselves on the world stage and they’ve both put their names in the mix after strong first round showings.
Torrey Pines, the site of last year’s Men’s US Open held no qualms for Amie Phobubpa as she rocketed to -4 and currently sits tied for second place. Amie began the round with a bogey on the first, however, it didn’t take long for her nerves to settle. A massive four birdies in a row on holes 3, 4, 5 and 6, along with one more on the 9th to finish the front nine saw those nerves dissipate and held her in good stead to finish the day. Those famous Torrey Pines par fives held no fears either as Amie managed to go -2 for the day on those holes. She will now look to stay in the hunt tomorrow before the cut is made and chase current leader, Hawaiian Kara Kaneshiro who currently sits three shots ahead at -7.
A steady first round for Joe Buttress has created a solid foundation for the WAGC member to launch into the final three rounds of the tournament. Joe also started his day with a first hole bogey before climbing into the top five with three birdies to finish at -2. He will now seek to chase down the current leader of the Boys 15-18 division, Japan’s Taishi Moto.