Mike Miller took a huge step in his golf career this week, fighting his way through two brutal rounds of sectional qualifying to claim one of only six spots in the national championship of American golf, the U.S. Open, to be played in Oakmont, PA next week. Miller, a 24-year-old mini tour player from Brewster and the son of Knollwood Country Club head pro Bob Miller, was one of nearly a hundred hopefuls who teed it up at Canoe Brook in Summit, NJ this week during one of the USGA’s 10 national, sectional qualifiers.
“I’ve been trying to qualify since I was 15, so to finally do it is really satisfying,” Miller said. “I haven’t played Oakmont, but I know it’s going to be very challenging. It’s not too far away, so I’m hoping to get some family and friends out there and have an awesome time.”
Miller shot 6-under 138 over the two rounds to punch his ticket to the big show. Also qualifying at Canoe Brooke were PGA TOUR players Jim Herman, a one-time assistant pro at Trump National Bedminster, and Rob Oppenheim of Orlando, FL, who shared medalist honors with matching 7-under 137s. Andy Pope of Orlando and Justin Hicks of Wellington, FL tied Miller with 138s, while Amateur Christopher Crawford of Bensalem, PA, drained a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to clinch the final qualifying position.
Other local contenders of note include Winged Foot assistant Grant Sturgeon, who was T17 with 142, Paramount head pro Steve Scott, T30/144, St. Andrew’s director of golf Greg Bisconti, T42/146, and James Nicholas of Scarsdale, T84/153. Tied with Nicholas at 153 was Sleepy Hollow Country Club head pro David Young, who was fresh from capturing the Met PGA Senior Match Play championship. His son Cameron, MGA Player of the Year in 2015, finished T33/145.