Mike Miller survived a little more drama at the U.S. Amateur on Thursday and is on to the Round of 32 after posting a 19-hole win over Brett Drewitt of Australia.
The 20-year-old from Brewster had a chance to close out the match on the 18th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club outside Denver, but missed the green and lipped out a three-foot putt for par. Drewitt also missed the green, but he was good from 10 feet away to save par.
They headed back to No. 1, a drivable par 4, and Drewitt put his tee ball pin high in the first cut. Miller got himself into trouble.
“I hit long and left,” he said by phone. “I was absolutely dead, but somehow managed to hit a really good chip within a foot or so of the hole. He lipped out for birdie from five feet, and I tapped in to win.
“Every hole, somebody had a chance to win. I was 1-under today and he only had one bad hole. It was a great match.”
Miller has played in the last three U.S. Amateurs. He qualified for match play two years ago, but did not survive the first round. Miller almost missed out on match play again, but was 2-under on his last nine holes Tuesday and got inside the top 64 with a stroke to spare.
“The first nine holes of the opening round, I was 5-over,” said Miller, who plays out of Knollwood Country Club. “I three-putted three times and then I started to make bad mistakes. I was 4-under the next 27 holes. I knew I had to do something special and it was gratifying to know that I was able to do it.”