Michael Miller of Brewster followed his 2022 NYS Open win at Bethpage Black with a one-stroke victory at the 87th Emerson Resort & Spa Woodstock Open at Woodstock Golf Club on Monday, July 25. Miller rolled in a four-foot par putt on the last hole to secure the narrow victory over Patrick Schwarze, an assistant pro at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle.
“I wasn’t sure if that putt was for the win or to tie,” says Miller, who earned the winner’s share of $3,000 along with the tournament’s champion robe. “The putt was a good look for a right-handed player, with a right to left break. It’s still cool to feel those nerves.”
Miller, a two-time MGA Player of the Year, duplicated his 2-under 33 on the front at Woodstock with a closing nine 33 that included two birdies and no bogeys. The 30-year-old Miller was playing in the same group with NYS Open runner-up and 2019 Emerson Resort & Spa Woodstock Open champion Justin Lane and defending Emerson Resort & Spa Woodstock Open champion Michael Shine.
Miller and Lane were tied at 2-under heading to the back nine, but Miller grabbed the lead when he rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th. He never relinquished the top spot as Lane finished tied for third with a 68 along with Andrew Daily of Albany Country Club.
Miller was buoyed earlier in the day by an eagle-3 after his 7-iron second shot on the 463-yard par-5 stopped within three feet of the cup.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won and I don’t care if it’s one day or three days you want to feel good,” says Miller, who’s been competing on various developmental tours including the Korn Ferry Tour. “It’s a cool feeling to put up good numbers.”
Schwarze was several groups in front of Miller and played nearly a flawless round. But he stubbed his toe on the par-4 17th when he 3-putted for his only bogey of the afternoon. “I didn’t look at the scores all day,” the 35-year-old Schwarze said afterward. “I didn’t worry about what everyone else was doing. I had four birdies and only one bogey. The pins were very tough and I thought 4- or 5-under would take it.”
Monday’s round marked the second time both Miller and Lane played this month in the day’s final pairing. Earlier this month the two played at Bethpage Black in the final round of the New York State Open, where Miller picked up $17,500 for his win. Miller also won the 2014 NYS Open.
“He’s going to figure it out,” Miller says of the younger Lane, who recently turned professional. “Justin is on his way. He’s a great, young player who’s only 22. Justin is more mature than I was at his age. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Host professional Chris Sanger and Dal Daily of Hammock Creek both fired 1-under-par 69s in the morning to tie for fifth. Daily won the senior division followed by runner-up Larry Furey of Wiltwyck Golf Club with a 71.
“We look forward to this tournament every year,” says Tamara Murray, Marketing and Sales Director at the Emerson Resort & Spa. “We are just thrilled to be a part of this day and the tournament’s legacy.” This year’s Emerson Resort & Spa Woodstock Open purse was $12,700.
Woodstock Golf Club is a private nine-hole course with panoramic mountain views and fairway routes that navigate players along running creeks. The nine-hole private course is known for its small and lightning-fast greens, requiring both accuracy and patience to hit and putt.
Guests who stay at the Emerson Resort & Spa enjoy a special stay-and-play package at Woodstock Golf Club as well as an opportunity to play the Robert Trent Jones designed Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston.