For the second time in his career, Lindy Miller finished as the Low PGA Professional in a PGA major championship. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)
Miller takes Low PGA Club Professional honors
PGA Teaching Professional Lindy Miller from Shady Oaks Country Club near Fort Worth, Texas, tied for 29th place, the best result among the 42 Club Professionals who teed it up this week.
By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer
PARKER, Colo. -- Lindy Miller, the PGA Teaching Professional at Shady Oaks Country Club in Westworth Village, Texas, knows full well the honor of being the low club professional at a PGA major championship. After all, he’s done it before. Granted, the last time was in 1991 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. -- the same championship when a mullet-haired kid from Arkansas named John Daly burst upon the scene.
Miller, a one-time touring professional, has enjoyed great success at all levels of golf, and that’s continued into his senior years as he has now made the cut twice at the Senior PGA Championship.
“All I can do is all I can do,” Miller said after his 71-75-74-72 (+4, 292) performance. “To add this [is] great. I’m very pleased with the way the whole week went.”
Miller, who ended up tied for 29th, also shared an appreciation for the words of support he had received all week.
“Just all kinds of emails and texts and we got some people here from Fort Worth,” he said. “A lot of support back there at Shady Oaks Country Club and just glad to be a part of it and be ready to get back there.”
Miller was able to keep his game pretty steady in a championship that saw many scores peak and fall like the surrounding Rocky Mountains -- the exact opposite of local favorite PGA Club Professional Bill Loeffler, who almost achieved one of the most interesting feats in major championship golf.
Loeffler, the PGA General Manager and co-owner of Highlands Ranch Golf Club and The Links Golf Club in Denver, opened with a 69 on Thursday, followed that with a disappointing 82 and barely made the cut, then posted another 69 on Saturday and then finished with a 79. Had he not made pars on the final two holes, he could have been one of the few – if not only – golfers to ever post four rounds in a major championship with two rounds in the 60s and two in the 80s.
“It was a goal [being the low club pro] and I was hoping that they would put (James) Blair and Lindy (Miller) and I together,” Loeffler said when asked if he had thought about the Low Club Professional award given out after the championship. “We almost got it done, but then I’m glad that we didn’t, because it wouldn’t have been fun getting the crap beat out of me by those two guys.”
Chris Starkjohann, a PGA Club Professional from Oceanside, Calif., who took home Low Club Professional honors last year at the Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club, finished two shots behind Miller for the honor this year.
“I’m happy for Lindy,” Starkjohann graciously offered. “He played well this week so he deserves it.”
Still, Starkjohann could have made a run at a repeat for the honor had it not been for just one poor decision on his final round.
“I played real solid today,” he stated after posting a 3-under 69. “I putted better with my other putter. I hit the ball solid. Just made a bad decision on, didn’t commit to my 3-wood on No. 4. Made a bad chip and three-putted. So that was my only real hiccup today.”
There were 42 PGA Club Professionals in the field at the 71st Senior PGA Championship and eight that made it to the weekend. The others were James Blair, III (PGA Life Member), Bill Britton (Director of Instruction, Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, N.J.), Mike San Filippo (PGA Life Member), Ron Vlosich (PGA Life Member) and Jim Woodward (PGA Teaching Professional, Oak Tree Golf Club, Edmond, Okla.)