Thirteen year old Grove resident Tyler Busch is set to compete at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The event is scheduled to begin July 26th and run through to the 28th.
Busch is the son of Brad and Sandy Busch of Grove. The youngster will be entering the eighth grade this fall at Grove Middle School.
“It’s quite a thrill for a thirteen year old boy,” said Brad Busch about the impending tournament.
Tyler has been a regular on the statewide South Central PGA Tour for five years. During that time he has racked up over 15 wins on the circuit.
Earlier this summer at the Broken Arrow Golf and Athletic Club, Busch qualified for his fifth consecutive Oklahoma Tournament of Champions. That event will be held in early August at the Broken Arrow course.
“He works hard,” Busch said of his son, “I can’t beat him anymore!”
Certified golf instructor and Patricia Island pro Steve Pace has been very impressed with Busch (see column below).
“Steve Pace is an excellent instructor,” Busch said. “He’s been coaching Tyler for about two years.”
The Optimist event will feature six divisions, three male and three female, that combine for a sum of 625 players from forty states and thirty one nations.
Only the cream of the crop makes it to the international event and the names of some of the former participants read as a virtual golf hall of fame. Amy Alcott, Ernie Els, Justin Leonard, Nancy Lopez, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Nick Price, and Tiger Woods are just some of the PGA and LPGA champions who have competed in the Optimist.
“I bought him his first set of clubs when he was four years old,” Busch said. “He just took to it.”
The Palm Beach course where the Optimist is held also plays host to the PGA’s Honda Classic.
This year will mark the 13th consecutive time that the junior championship will have been hosted at the resort.
Organization officials will be posting daily reports and scores from the tournament online at www.optimist.org/golf.
Title sponsor of the championship, Optimist International conducts various service projects that involve more than six million young people each year. The junior golf program is one of their biggest events. Optimist International has 3,800 chapters in North America with over 115,000 members.