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JM Butler clutch as Auburn wins 2024 NCAA Mens Golf Championship title

JM Butler clutch as Auburn wins 2024 NCAA Mens Golf Championship title

CARLSBAD, Calif. — More often than not, when John Marshall Butler isn’t on the golf course, he’s at Jordan Hare Stadium.

The senior on the Auburn golf team occasionally goes to the 90,000-seat football stadium as the lone occupant, sprinting up and down the steps, touching every one. Auburn golf coach Nick Clinard could do nothing but watch and laugh, but it became a trend. How often did Butler do it?

“Too much,” Clinard said. “Just full of guts. I can’t teach that. He’s just a hard worker.”

Those guts are why Butler, a senior, has been in the anchor spot all season for the Tigers in match play. It’s why Clinard trusted him to close out matches when Auburn needed him most. And boy, did Butler come through.

NCAAPhotos from Omni La Costa

Butler beat Florida State sophomore Luke Clanton, the top-ranked golfer in the NCAA golf rankings, 2 and 1 on Wednesday to clinch the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship title match. Auburn won 3-2 against the Seminoles, clinching their first title in school history at Omni La Costa’s North Course. And it was the Tigers’ match-play assassin who came through in the clutch.

“The anchor match was nothing new,” Butler said on the 17th green minutes after clinching the match. “We went undefeated in match play all year and were just sticking to what we knew.”

Auburn earned its 10th victory of the season Wednesday, and Clinard triumphantly said his team became one of college golf’s best ever with the feat. The Tigers won the SEC Championship and their NCAA Regional, but the national championship is the crowning achievement.

Freshman Jackson Koivun, the Haskins winner who Tuesday was the hero to propel Auburn into the championship match, earned the first point with a 5-and-4 domination. Shortly after, points started to be clinched quickly. 

Junior Brendan Valdes earned a 4-and-3 victory, but Florida State responded when Cole Anderson won his match 1 up and Tyler Weaver, who didn’t play during stroke play all week, won his third match for Florida State.

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Then it came down to Butler and Clanton in the anchor match, and Butler led 1 up standing on the 15th tee.

“He’s the guy you want in that spot,” Clinard said. 

Clanton’s tee shot found the rough, and his approach went too long and trundled off the back of the green into the water. Butler stuck his shot on the front of the green and went 2 up with three to play.

His tee shot on the difficult…


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