18 May 2023 | Amateur golf |
Cameron Smith Scholarship goes national
by Martin Blake
The Cameron Smith Scholarship has gone national for the first time.
Western Australia’s Joseph Buttress and New South Wales star Jeffrey Guan were named today as the first recipients of the scholarship to come from outside Queensland.
The change comes as a direct result from Open Championship winner Smith asking that the scholarship handed out in his name since 2019 be broadened.
Guan, 18, plays out of The Australian in Sydney, is part of the Golf NSW elite squad and is already a two-time national junior champion. This month he was part of the winning NSW team at the Golf Australia Interstate Matches in Sydney.
He is regarded as one of the best talents to have emerged in Australia for some time.
Buttress, 17, plays out of the Western Australian Golf Club and is a multiple winner at elite level, including a South Australian Amateur and the Tasmanian Junior Amateur.
He has been runner-up in the past two Australian Junior Amateurs, behind Guan in 2022 at The Vines of Reynella and in the wake of New Zealand’s Zack Swanwick at Tasmanian Golf Club earlier this year.
The Cameron Smith Scholarship began in 2016 when the Queensland superstar broke on to the world scene and began giving back a portion of prize money to help promote young players.
It is part of Golf Australia’s Give Back program, where successful professionals agree to surrender a portion of their earnings with certain trigger points as an acknowledgement of the help provided along the way and a means of future-proofing the sport.
The money is funnelled back into elite amateur training programs via the Australian Golf Foundation.
Minjee Lee and Lucas Herbert are among those to have handed back sums while Smith’s contribution since 2018 is through his travel scholarship, awarded to two elite amateurs each year who travel to his home in Florida for a week’s practice and mentoring.
Past recipients include Jed Morgan, Louis Dobbelaar, Billy Dowling, Kai Komulainen, Elvis Smylie and Tyler Duncan.
When they travel to the US in June on scholarship, Guan and Buttress will receive the bonus of spending time with Smith at the US Open, to be held in Los Angeles, as well as in his Florida home base.
“We’re delighted that this prestigious scholarship is going to be national from here on,” said Tony Meyer, Golf Australia’s High Performance Director.
“It’s what Cameron wanted and we’re happy to facilitate that. It’s absolutely appropriate given his status as a worldwide player and one of the superstars of the sport.
“We know from past visits that first of all the players get so much out of spending time with Cameron who they all look up to, but we also know that Cameron loves imparting that knowledge. It’s part of his DNA that he wants to help others at a stage of their lives when they do need some guidance.”
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