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For week ended June 6, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999

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Johnny Miller's sons to play in NCAA tournament

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Johnny Miller's sons to play in NCAA tournament
Minneapolis MN Star-Tribune 1Jun99 L3
By Jon Roe: Star Tribune

Andy, Scott and Todd Miller are keeping a family tradition alive by playing for the BYU Golf Team. Their Father, the Pro Hall of Fame Golfer, Johnny Miller, also played for BYU.

Andy, 23 and Scott, 21, a new returned missionary, were playing last week for the Y in the NCAA men's golf championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in the Twin Cities. Todd, 19 would have liked to have been there, but didn't make the cut.

Dad Johnny would have liked to have been there also, but his schedule as NBC-TV's analyst for the US Women's Open in Mississippi, kept him away, leaving him to keep up with nightly reports by phone.

The BYU Cougars have taken part in the NCAA tournament 24 times in the past 34 years. Bruce Brockbank, who has been the BYU coach the past seven years, used that legacy in recruiting Miller's sons.

"BYU has always had a special place in Johnny's heart," Brockbank said. "He gave the golf program a boost 30 or so years ago, and now his sons are helping to raise the level again.

"It's actually been very easy for me to coach the sons. Johnny has a lot of input whenever I ask him, but he knows what I expect and how I expect our players to act, and they have fit right in. That's because of the way they've been brought up."

Although golf has always surrounded their lives as the sons of a golf Hall of Fame father, playing golf has not been the lives of Scott, Andy or Todd.

"I played golf from the time I was 9 or so," said Andy, a junior and a two-time All-America. "But I didn't really get serious about the game, really start to play in a lot of tournaments, until I was 16.

"Dad always wanted the game to be fun for us. He didn't want to see us out on the course, grinding away during a round, when we were only 12. I think that's why the game still is fun for us. All of us are competitive, and we want to win, but you still have to enjoy what you're doing."

Before the start of the NCAA Tournament, Andy Miller was expected to be among the contenders for the individual title. He stood 16th on the national points list and carried a season scoring average of 72.7.

Scott Miller is reacquainting himself with his golf game after spending two years on a mission in and around the Cincinnati area. Scott Miller, a sophomore, was ranked 98th on the college points list and is averaging 74.20 a round.

He said of his missionary work and golf. " We'd have one day a week off, and that's when you had a chance to play -- when you got done with your laundry and all the other stuff you have to do. I probably only played golf five or six times."

The boys said that carrying around a family name famous in golf hasn't been a burden. "I think my father has gone about playing golf or anything he has done in life with a most respectful attitude. He has done things with the attitude that sportsmanship is important," Andy said.

But that doesn't mean the brothers didn't inherit their father's competitive demeanor. Coach Brockbank saw that the first time he sat down to talk with Andy Miller.

"I asked him if he thought there was any difference in playing junior golf and college golf," Brockbank said. "He looked at me and said there isn't a lot of difference, no matter what level you're playing golf. It's a tournament, you add up your score, and somebody wins. I knew right then that he would have a good college career. He knows what has to be done, and he gets it done."

However, golf is the most fun for the three Miller sons when it is in a foursome including their father. "Dad doesn't take it too serious," Scott Miller said. "He'll hit a tee shot, and then he might not finish the hole. He'll just walk along, watch us and hit a shot when he feels like it."

Andy Miller said: "He's definitely my teacher. He and my grandfather are the only people I've ever had teach me. I can't imagine why I'd want to have anybody else teach me."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information