Park boys golf: Miller named Minnesota Junior PGA Player of the YearPark 2010 graduate Jake Miller won the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year award, which goes to the player with the most points accrued over the course of the summer in Minnesota Junior PGA events.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Park 2010 grad Jake Miller is about to begin his collegiate golf career at Iowa Lakes Community College in hopes of earning a scholarship to a four-year university.
Well, having Minnesota Junior PGA Player of the Year on his resume shouldn’t hurt.
Miller, a six-year player on Park’s varsity team, won the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year award, which goes to the player with the most points accrued over the course of the summer in Minnesota Junior PGA events.
“That was my goal the whole summer,” Miller said. “After I got done playing my last tournament, I thought I might be close to getting the Player of the Year award. Then I found out I got it and I thought to myself, ‘That’ll work.’”
Heading into his final tournament of the summer, Miller was in fifth place in the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year overall standings, but he finished in a tie for third place in the Tournament of Champions, at the Legacy Courses at Cragun’s on Aug. 12 and 13. The finish gave him 220 points and 712.50 total points — good enough for the title.
Tyler McMorrow of St. Cloud finished in second place with 707.50 points and Jonathan DuToit of Chaska was third with 635.00 points.
Miller finished in fifth place in the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year standings last year.
Since putting a cap on his prep golf career with a 32nd place finish at the Class 3A Boys Golf State Tournament, Miller has had quite the summer.
Miller won the Minnesota Section Junior PGA Championship, held July 12 and 13 at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort in Biwabik and qualified for the national Junior PGA Championship, where he finished in 49th place overall with a 9-over-par two-day score of 153 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind., in early August.
At the Minnesota Junior PGA Championship, Miller shot a two-day, 36-hole 4-under par 140 at Giants Ridge, carding a first-day 70 and a 70 on the second day.
Miller also competed for team Minnesota in the Minnesota/Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup tournament and tied for 11th place in the MGA Minnesota State Junior Boys Championship in early July.
“I played really well this summer,” Miller said. “I don’t know why, but I usually play well at the start of the high school year, but when I get to state, I start slapping it around. But, then in the summer I start playing really well again. It’s weird.”
Miller said he ranked the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year award third on his list of accomplishments.
On top of the list was helping Park win the Class 3A state golf championship in 2008. No. 2 was winning the Minnesota Junior PGA Championship and qualifying for the national tournament.
However, the Minnesota Junior PGA Player of the Year award gives Miller some bragging rights over a couple of his former teammates from the Park state championship team.
Neither Billy Barnhart — who was the Class 3A state champion in 2008 — or All-State and St. Cloud State golfer Beau Anderson won the Minnesota Junior PGA Boys Player of the Year award.
“Billy called me and said congratulations and told me it was a big thing to win,” Miller said.
In Miller’s final high school season — his sixth on Park’s varsity team — he earned All-Conference honors for a third-straight year, was the Section 3AAA individual champion and competed in his third-straight state tournament.