Posted: 12 June 2012
Team Titleist is on the ground at the 112th U.S. Open Championship and long-time Titleist Staff Professional Dennis Miller was the center of attention for most of yesterday morning. The Director of Golf at the Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio, Dennis became an online sensation when his remarkable winning 20-foot putt in a sudden death playoff during June 4th qualifying was caught on tape. Just when it looked like his Pro V1 golf ball would stop short of the cup, it dropped in after approximately five seconds and after Miller looked away.
What makes the story even more interesting, is that Miller was debating whether or not to even go to the event because he was the third alternate. He never played a practice round and had never even played the course before the 36-hole qualifier. He decided to go because it was a good opportunity to play historic Scioto Country Club, in suburban Columbus, Ohio. In fact, he went to a Cleveland Indians game on Sunday, the night before the tournament. He had entered U.S. Open qualifying 11 times prior with his best finish being four shots out.
"There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support from my community, my family, my friends," said Miller. "I received over a thousand text messages and emails, and I'm trying to get back to everybody. If I haven't, I apologize. But it's been a whirlwind since last Monday. But, you know, the community really embraced me. They stepped up. Some of my sponsors and things of that nature. It's been fantastic. Quite a journey so far."
"You could not script this story," said the 42-year old Miller. "If I birdied one of the final holes in regulation, I'm probably the same story as many of the other great stories ... Mill Creek Metro golf professional, made it to the U.S. Open. But to do it with the cameras rolling, the ball hanging on the lip. I can't tell you how excited my family is."
Reality set in for Miller on Tuesday, the morning after the excitement.
"I still have a job to do back in Mill Creek," he said. "And we actually had a Chamber of Commerce golf outing the next day. We had 300 golfers out there and I worked about 14 hours that day. That was my preparation up to this week. It's been a whirlwind. We're trying to enjoy it."
In case you missed, you can check out the putt that landed Dennis in San Francisco below:
The USGA offers 13 sectional qualifying sites for the U.S. Open – 11 in the U.S. and two overseas in Japan and England. Approximately 750 golfers compete at the sectional qualifying level for about half of the 156 available spots in the U.S. Open.
Sectional qualifying is a demanding 36-hole, one-day marathon, with only a handful of available spots at each site. Qualifying spots are determined by the field's numbers and strength. The USGA established two "tour" sites in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., for members of the PGA Tour who either have just competed at The Memorial (Columbus) or are preparing to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic (Memphis).
Dennis Miller joins the following sectional qualifiers, each of whom trusted a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball to play their way into the field at the 2012 U.S. Open Championship.
Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ - June 4, 2012
Springfield Country Club, Springfield, OH - June 4, 2012
Lake Merced Golf Club/TPC at Harding Park, Daly City, CA - June 4, 2012
Scioto Country Club/OSU Scarlet Course, Columbus, OH - June 4, 2012
Woodmont Country Club, Rockville, MD - June 4, 2012
Lakeside Country Club, Houston, TX - June 4, 2012
Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course), Lecanto, FL - June 4, 2012
The River Club, Suwanee, GA - June 4, 2012
Germantown Country Club, Memphis, TN - June 4, 2012
Village Links of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL - June 4, 2012