Myles Miller had a feeling that his 20-foot putt on his final hole of the day at the Blackstone Open in Marengo was going to be important.
Miller, in reality, didn’t know that the putt would determine whether he would win his second McHenry County Junior Golf Association title of the year, or have to go to a playoff with Grant Fisher, the clubhouse leader at the time.
The 15-year-old Hampshire High School attendee avoided all the drama of a playoff by burying his long-birdie putt to take home the junior division title with an 8-over-par 80.
“It felt great. I didn’t know Grant’s score and I just kept thinking to myself about what if this putt gave me the win, and sure enough it did,” Miller said.
“Everything’s coming together finally for me, I used to be scoring way higher, but now I’m consistently in the low 80s.”
Fisher ended up second with an 81, his second straight second-place finish. The 15-year-old from Johnsburg was a little disappointed in his round, mainly because he hit three balls out of bounds on the back nine.
“I didn’t play my best, but I felt I was playing consistent, which is what I want,” Fisher said. “I just had some quick swings and wasn’t thinking on the back nine, and that’s not the game I'm used too.”
Miller and Fisher have both seen their play elevate this summer. While Miller believes it’s due to his new clubs and added lessons, Fisher thinks it may be a growth thing.
“I grew six inches, and gained 15 pounds,” Fisher joked. “It’s also a maturity thing I think. I’ve gotten more consistent and my mental game has gotten so much better.”
Miller and Fisher have both been consistently near the top of the leaderboard at the MCJGA events. They have now combined to win four of the eight events this summer.
Fisher has played in seven events with his lowest finish being a fourth, while Miller has only two finishes outside the top ten in six events played.
In the boys senior division, Crystal Lake South’s Brandon Dahl shot a 76 to take first place, while Glenn Miller, Tyler Ross and Brad Spoeth each shot 78s to tie for second.
Maddie Ogden won a one-hole playoff against Maria Mercurio to win the girls junior division. Ogden shot a 49, and increased her already large lead in the overall standings. Hannah Ogden was third with a 52, and Gillian Young won the girls senior division with a 46.
The win pulled Miller in second place in the boys junior division standings, where he still finds himself 180 points back of Fisher, the leader.
It will be a major comeback if Miller manages to close the gap at the top of the leaderboard. It doesn’t help his chances that Fisher is enjoying himself at the events and plans on playing the rest of the tournaments on the schedule.
“I plan on playing all of them because they are so fun and the people at them are great, so we’ll see what happens,” Fisher said.