SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Cranford soon-to-be senior Johnny Bush took his shot to qualify for a USGA championship on Wednesday.
Bush shot a 6-over-par 76 (38-38) to finish in a five-way tie for 21st place in a U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier at the par 70, 6,558-yard Shackamaxon Country Club in nearby Scotch Plains.
65 golfers, including 54 from the Garden State, took a chance at a mere two qualifying spots (plus two alternates) for entry into next month’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship on the Lower and Upper Courses at historic Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, July 16-21.
Sectional qualifying for the tournament is currently being conducted at 58 sites across the country from June 11-29.
Bush, the nephew of Shackamaxon golf pro Joe Bush (who also caddied for him on the day) and who helped lead the Cougars to a 15-3 record this season, got off to a good start with a birdie on the par 4, 452-yard third hole, but then posted four straight bogeys to go out in 38. He recorded an identical 38 on his back nine.
“The course played tough, but I didn’t play well enough to qualify. Nothing to do with the course, but the course was in good shape,” said Bush. “I really didn’t make any putts on either nine.”
Bush got right back at it Thursday for a qualifying round at the 98th New Jersey State Open Championship at White Beeches Golf & Country Club in Haworth.
Five weeks ago, Bush concluded his junior season as a champion, shooting an even-par 72, three shots better junior Andrew Rush of Morris Tech to capture the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1-2, Group 2 individual championship at the par-72, 6,584-yard Bowling Green Golf Club in Oak Ridge.