Mike Miller clearly isn’t ready to abandon his Walker Cup dream.
The 21-year-old Brewster resident probably needs to make the final this weekend at the U.S. Amateur Championship to be seriously considered by the USGA’s selection committee. He set himself up for a good run, shooting a 1-under 69 at Charles River Country Club in Newton, Mass. on Tuesday, finishing stroke play with a 2-under total of 138.
Miller will be the No. 6 seed when match play begins Wednesday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
“I just played solid the last two days,” he said. “I have finally figured some things out with the putter and I’m learning to trust it. I made a few mental errors today, got too aggressive out there and had to dial it back, but when I looked at the leaderboard, I was tied for low American, which is pretty damn cool.”
Miller is playing in his fourth U.S. Amateur. The course record-holder at Knollwood made it to match play twice before, losing in the first round in 2010 at Chambers Bay in Washington, and in the Round of 32 last year at Cherry Hills in Colorado.
The conditions are expected to be a little firmer and faster during match play, so he’s not expecting anyone to string together many birdies.
“A lot of holes are going to be won with pars,” Miller said. “The rough is so thick. If you miss, you are going out sideways. I don’t think many people will be able to run off a bunch of birdies, and that’s really fun. It’s grueling, but it helps knowing you’re always in a hole.”
Cameron Young, a 16-year-old Scarborough resident who plays out of Sleepy Hollow, was even through 12 holes Tuesday at The Country Club, but went double-triple-bogey over the next three. He wound up with a 5-over 75 and fell into a tie for 67th at 5-over.
He spent the afternoon sitting figuratively on the bubble.
Sam Bernstein, a New York City resident who plays out of Century, joined him at 145. The Yale senior followed up a steady 74 at The Country Club with a 71 at Charles River.
They ended up missing a playoff to get into stroke play by one shot.
The other locals played at Charles River. Theo Humphrey (Sleepy Hollow) returned a 69 and finished tied for 108th at 7-over. Dylan Newman (Bonnie Briar) shot a 73 and finished tied for 248th at 15-over.