The Old Coach Sez


If you appreciate golf as I do, then you enjoy listening to 61 year old Johnny Miller, NBC’s lead golf analyst, give his viewpoints during major golf events. He is so well prepared. He often seems to know what is going to happen before play unfolds. He is an expert analyst, and he is not afraid to call it like it is. If he thinks a player is making a mistake, he will say so. He will tell us which way a putt is going to break. He is almost always right. A very blunt commentator, he is just a lot of fun to listen to. So who is this hot shot? On what basis can he back up his comments and criticisms? Most of us don’t know too much about him.

In 1973, just his fifth year as a pro, Johnny Miller came out of nowhere to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont in one of the most dramatic tournaments ever played. Miller was in twelfth place going into Sunday’s round. He was six strokes behind four co-leaders, including Arnie Palmer. Miller shot a scorching 63, one of the most remarkable rounds in U.S. Open history. He reached all 18 greens in regulation. In doing so, he passed Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, and Palmer. He earned $35,000 for the victory.

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