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Raleigh Butler shoots a record 30 and wins the Phoenix Summer Tour Championship!

Raleigh holding his record breaking round leaderboard - Sun City South Course (2023)

Raleigh Butler of Gilbert, AZ recently won the Phoenix Summer Tour Championship - 8 yr. old division, recording a personal best 6 under par 30 in one of the tournaments!

Today's Junior Golfer (TJG) caught up with Raleigh and his parents (Ben and Kathy) recently at their home in Gilbert, AZ to talk about his all-time-best round and the hot, summer long Tour Championship win.

TJG: Raleigh, the date is June 25, 2023, it is Sunday and you make the 1-hour drive north to Sun City, AZ with your family. It's 106 degrees, the sun is out, it's mid-day and it is hot. You're on the range at Sun City - South Course before your record-breaking round, what was going through your mind?

Raleigh: I was hoping for another lucky day because this is the same course and tournament a year ago that I got my first hole-in-one on.

TJG: Wow! Do you remember that hole-in-one?

Raleigh: Yes, it was the 6th hole, par 4, 155 yds. I used my driver. I was 7 yrs old.

TJG: Wow! That's exciting! Well, you apparently used that hole-in-one from a year ago as inspiration and ended up doing really well this day, shooting a -6 in the tournament. Do you remember much about it?

Raleigh: Yes, I had 6 birdies and 3 pars in 9 holes. I figured out on the practice green that the ball did not break as much as it looked because the greens were recently punched and sanded. Then our plan was to not read too much into the slopes since the sand wasn't allowing the ball to break much. It worked!

TJG: Yes, it did! That's great team-work figuring all that out while warming up. Also, not many golfers can say they were ever 6 under after 9 holes. Great job.

Raleigh: Thank you. I hit all the fairways and greens in regulation too.

TJG: That's very impressive.

TJG: Ben, you were on the bag that day with Raleigh. Any thoughts as you watched it all happen?

Ben: Yes, stay out of the way! Sometimes we as caddies can get in the way of our Jr Golfers by talking too much and over analyzing each shot. It was clear early that Raleigh was feeling it and focused on his own.

TJG: That's some great advice. Being a caddy is a balancing act of feeding them information versus what the golfer feels. Good job noticing that early!

Raleigh and Dad (caddy)

Ben: After the 7th hole, he turned to me and said, “if I go birdie-birdie to finish, I shoot 30."  I told him to go for it!  Then after he made birdie on 8, as we were walking to 9, he says, “you know, if I make a 2 I can shoot 29!”  After he hit it in the fairway and got to his ball, he looks at me and says, “I am going to try to make this to shoot 29.” He was well aware of his score and the possibilities.

TJG: That sounds like a parent caddy's dream to have your young golfer so clearly understanding their situation on the course.

Ben: Exactly. And, Raleigh's confidence grew stronger during the round. He always believed he could make the next shot. In fact, on the 9th hole, he had 55 yds in for his second shot and he told me, "I want to make this for a 29!" He had to settle for a very short birdie putt (Ben smiles). Oh, and I almost forgot, Raleigh was playing with clubs he just got 3 days earlier. We went to The Kingdom (TaylorMade) in California to get fitted and the clubs arrived right before this tournament.

TJG: That sounds like a great advertisement...get new TaylorMade clubs and shoot a record score!

Official scorecard on June 25, 2023

TJG: So, you went on to win the Phoenix Summer Tour, winning 6 out of 7 tournaments, the final tournament being at Long Bow golf course in Mesa, AZ. Do you recall any highlights?

Raleigh: Yes. I was in the final group to start the round. I played ok but was tied going into the last hole. It was a par 5. I hit a 3 wood onto the green with my second shot. My playing partner who I was tied with did the same. He missed his eagle putt and tapped in for a birdie. I had an 8-10 footer for eagle and the win.

TJG: Did you make it?

Raleigh: Drained it! It was an exciting way to win and finish off the very hot summer tour.

Raleigh holding his Tour Championship trophy and wearing his tournament blue ribbon

Rapid Fire Q's:

TJG: Have you been to Pinehurst, NC for the USKids World Tournament?

Raleigh: Yes, I have qualified two straight years now. It's a lot of fun.

Raleigh and Dad at Pinehurst - 2023

TJG: Who is your favorite golfer and why?

Raleigh: Collin Morikawa. He is really nice. I met him at the Waste Management Open and he signed my hat and head cover and I got a picture with him.

Raleigh and Collin Morikawa at the Waste Management Open - 2023

TJG: What's in your bag?

Raleigh: I play all TaylorMade clubs. SIM 2 Max Driver, 3w, 7w, 4 & 5 hybrid, P770 irons (6-A wedge), MG3 56 & 60 wedges.

TJG: Typical day?

Raleigh: Full day of school then golf until it's dark.

TJG: Favorite class?

Raleigh: Math and Reading.

TJG: What is your biggest goal in golf?

Raleigh: To win all 4 Majors.

TJG: Which major do you want to win the most and why?

Raleigh: The Masters, because it's the biggest!

TJG: What is the best part of your game?

Raleigh: Putting

TJG: Cross hand or regular when you putt?

Raleigh: Cross hand.

TJG: How many tournament wins so far?

Raleigh: 14 wins in about 48 tournaments.

TJG: Pets?

Raleigh: 2 dogs - Milo and Booker

TJG: Thank you Raleigh for taking the time to talk to us and good luck in school and golf this year!

Raleigh: You are welcome. Thank you.

TJG: Where can we find you on social media?

Raleigh: Instagram. Raleigh on Instagram

Just the FACTS!

Name: Raleigh Butler

Age/Grade: 8 yrs. old - 3rd Grade

State: Arizona

Graduating Class: 2033

Family: Sister - Charley (1st grade)

Home Course: Seville Golf and Country Club

Golf tour: USKids Phoenix Tour - Director Dale Balvin.