Jamie Butler the globetrotting golfer strikes gold in Cyprus

Ronan MacNamara

It’s hard to win a golf tournament and as the Republic of Ireland showed on that nightmare night in Nicosia seventeen years ago, it’s hard to win in Cyprus. But Jamie Butler ticked off a season goal very early as he cruised to the Cyprus Amateur Open title last weekend for his first win since his junior days.

Butler shot rounds of 69, 68 and 68 for an eight-under total and five shot win at Secret Valley Golf Club. One might wonder why is Jamie playing golf in Cyprus? It’s actually become a regular thing with the Naas man making his third appearance in the event having traveled last Monday with his mother for post college downtime, practice and competitive golf.

“It was great to win. I went over to Cyprus last Monday for a week, just me and my mam. I’ve been over there three times and have played the Cyprus Open every time, it’s a really nice tournament. The weather is good so it’s great to get some competitive golf in before the summer season in Ireland.


“One of my goals this year was to just get a win. I haven’t won in four or five years since I was under 16. Winning is hard and I just wanted to get a win this year even if that was in the club it doesn’t matter where you win you just have to play really well,” said the 20-year-old.

“It’s nice to get the win early and obviously I want to carry that into the Irish events. It was my first time going into the final round with a lead so all those things were new for me. I handled it well and it’s great to get over the line.

“The golf course is short but involves a lot of strategy with a lot of irons off the tee so I plotted my way around all week and tried to minimise the mistakes. I putted solid inside ten feet so didn’t have many bogeys and came away with the win at the end of the week.”

Butler hopes his breakthrough can prove the catalyst for a hot summer of golf in Ireland and he has cast his eye towards a hectic run of events, particularly the Connacht Strokeplay where he placed fourth last year behind club mate Rob Brazill.

“It’s nice to get away I came back from college a couple of weeks ago and that’s obviously busy so it’s nice to get some down time away. You get sun and practice and get to compete over there before a busy stretch of golf coming up. I want to play the Ulster Strokeplay, the East and Connacht Strokeplay so it’s good to have some momentum.

“I was fourth in Connacht last year so I have my eye on that, the Ulster is in Clandeboye where I played before and then there’s the East. It’s nice to be going back to places I have been before. Last year was my first time going to these venues so it’s nice to have that knowledge to take into these events.”

Butler is something of a globetrotting golfer. After his stint in Cyprus he intends to head north in June for the Danish amateur championship and link up with one of his University of Toledo teammates.

“I’ll play the Danish amateur at the end of June then come back for the South. One of my teammates is Danish who lives close to the course of the Danish AM. It’s a great experience to be travelling abroad to tournaments and to be out of the comfort zone and it’s all part of the learning.”

Butler just completed his second year of accounting in Toledo and he has found the perfect match in pursuing the sport he loves and the academic course he wanted.

“It’s a great place to be we’ve got great facilities, great players around you, great coaches, a great schedule it’s got everything you could want.

“You get twelve tournaments a year with nine of us on a team and it’s a very international team which is great to be mixing with people from all over the world. It’s the environment you want to be in, going over I wanted to see how good I could get and that’s the best environment for me. Practicing four or five hours every single day, in the gym surrounded by good players who are pushing you on and you are pushing them. The weather over there is pretty good.”

Naas Golf Club has become a breeding ground for champion golfers, producing the likes of Jack Hume, Jonathan Yates and Conor O’Rourke while Robert Brazill has emerged, represented Ireland and won the West in recent years.

It’s safe to say Butler is in the right environment both Stateside and at home.

“Naas Golf Club has been great for me. It’s so important to have as many great players as we’ve had over the last five or six years I don’t think we would be as good as we are without eachother. We are all very competitive between each other so it’s great to have that. We have some competitive practice and fighting for Senior Cup places.”

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