JAMESTOWN — The worst thing to occur during Liz Miller’s appearance in last weekend’s state golf tournament didn’t actually come on the course.
The person introducing each player prior to teeing off on the first hole announced the Legacy Christian Academy senior as being from “ex-eeenya.”
“That was kind of funny,” Miller said Friday as she recalled her two rounds, during which she shot 79 on Friday and 84 on Saturday to finish 14th in Division II.
That jovial attitude was emblematic of how the Olivet Nazarene University-bound Miller approached the weekend on the Gray Course at The Ohio State University Golf Course in Columbus.
“It was fun,” she said. “I wanted to make it to state and I did. If you walk in with no expectations, it’s a lot more enjoyable than diving in like a racehorse … going for the win. I was proud to be able to play as a Division-II player on the very last day of the season. I thought that was really cool.”
While there, Miller had a chance to experience golf like a pro. She had an assigned time on the driving range, which was cordoned off — along with the practice green — by ropes.
“Which I thought was really cool because I go and watch a lot of pro tournaments,” Miller said. “Being able to be inside the ropes and on the green was pretty cool.”
She even had galleries, albeit small, following her every move. She estimated 10-15 per group, which isn’t bad during a pandemic and limited attendance caused by said pandemic.
“There were a lot more than I was expecting,” Miller said. “I was impressed.”
And somehow through all the pomp and circumstance that comes with a state championship event in Ohio, Miller managed to put together a couple nice rounds, too.
She was nine over par after 18 holes, good for 12th.
“I got out there and I was in my zone,” Miller said, following the advice of her personal coach, Doug Spencer, who urged her to be herself. “I was doing my thing and that was really cool. Being plus nine at the end of day one was really, really cool.”
Saturday, not so much.
“Man, I felt like the wheels had fallen off the bus,” Miller said of her second round. “Walking into day two, I had expectations. I wasn’t making smart plays and I was hitting in the trees and stuff which isn’t super easy to play out of.”
Her final nine holes on Saturday were “much better” mentally and Miller walked off the course extremely satisfied.
“I was just proud to be there and to be finishing day two,” she said. “I was a good ending. It was a solid finish.”
But it’s really just the beginning.
In addition to focusing solely on school, Miller will be gearing up for college, hitting the weights, watching her nutrition, while hitting balls whenever she can.
And hopefully not correcting any pronunciations.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.