Park boys golf: Miller qualifies for state tourney, Wolfpack falls shortPark will once again be represented at the state golf tournament. Junior golfer Jake Miller qualified for the Class AAA state tournament in exciting fashion, earning the trip to state on a final playoff hole.
By: Patrick Johnson, staff writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Park will once again be represented at the state golf tournament.
Junior golfer Jake Miller qualified for the Class AAA state tournament in exciting fashion, earning the trip to state on a final playoff hole. However, the youthful Park boys golf team fell short of earning a trip to state — and a chance to defend its 2008 Class AAA state championship — as it finished fourth in the Section 3AAA tournament on Tuesday, May 26 at Bunker Hills.
After shooting a 305 at Keller Golf Course and sitting nine strokes back of leader Eastview after the first day of the two-day tournament, the Wolfpack shot a 321 at Bunker Hills to total a 626 — 23 strokes back of section champion Eastview, which shot a 307 on day two and a 603 total. Rosemount and Eagan finished second and third, respectively, with matching 618 scores.
The Wolfpack was led by Miller, who — despite wearing a cast on his right leg after breaking his foot at the start of the season — shot a 78 on day two after carding a 76 on the first day for a 154 total score for the tournament and was in a three-way tie for the final two state tournament spots.
Miller, along with Highland Park’s Genki Hirayama each shot a par on the final hole to qualify for state.
Miller — who earned All-State honors with the eighth-best average score in Class AAA this season — saved par with a terrific bunker shot that put him five feet away from the pin, then sunk his put, after going from one sand trap to another sand trap on his first two shots.
Miller was the Wolfpack’s third-best finisher at the state tournament last season, shooting a two-day 157 total that included a 74 on the final 18 holes.
On day two of the Section 3AAA championships, along with Miller’s 78, Park junior Rorie Perkins shot a 79, junior Dylan Sawicki shot an 80, and junior Rafael Castaneda turned in an 84 to round out the Wolfpack’s top four.
Park had only three seniors on its rosters this season and all of its golfers at the Section 3AAA championships were underclassmen who will return to the team next season.
On Tuesday, June 2, Miller will take part in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament at Bunker Hills. Day two will be on Wednesday, June 3.