YORK Cole Miller took part in his first-ever PIAA State Golf Championship on Monday..
A rough start on the very first hole and an opening day score of 12-over-par, wasn't the way the Northwestern golfer wanted his first appearance at States to go.
The 2011 Colonial League and District 11 champion had one forgettable experience to start off the opening day of the two-day event in York.
Miller opened with a double bogey on hole No. 1.
"You definitely don't start off the way I did," said Miller in a phone interview. "Everybody knows that never helps out, but I came right back with a birdie. So, I was feeling all right after that."
Although Miller was able to recover after that dismal hole, Northwestern coach Justin Smith saw first-hand the tough time the initial hole gave his young golfer yesterday morning, which led to the Northwestern sophomore sitting tied for 39th with four others in a field of 48 high school golfers.
Despite that, the Tiger mentor was proud of how Miller responded to finish things off on the first hole and the way he carried battled the rest of the day at the par-71 Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
"He hit a pretty good drive into a bunker and found himself in a pretty tough position," Smith explained. "He came out of it with a tough shot that hooked out of bounds. He recovered well from there to make sure the hole didn't get any worse than that. He followed that up very well by getting a birdie on number two.
"So, it definitely didn't get to him. Although it's not the way you want to start, he did respond well after that."
Miller was also happy with his recovery on the second hole.
"I think you just have to get the jitters out of you," said Miller, of the way he was able to recover. "So, that's was definitely a good thing for me to do.
"I settled in more and hopefully I can continue by putting up a better numbers (in the final round) with that experience behind me now."
Miller finished off the opening nine holes of play with four bogeys and three pars. He followed that by compiling a tripley bogey, one more double bogey, two bogeys and five pars on the final nine.
"I drove the ball fairly well," said Miller of his overall play. "I didn't hit my irons very well and didn't putt the greatest on some tough greens."
Miller doesn't plan on letting his first round score of 83 to linger in his mind when he hits the course for the second and final round today.
"I just can't think about it anymore," Miller said. "I now have to play each shot like a new shot. It's a brand new day. New and better scores hopefully too.
"And, hopefully, we'll see a better result."
Although it wasn't the way Smith wanted to watch the round pan out for the program's first-ever State qualifier, he feels today will be a whole new day for Miller.
"It didn't go as expected, but the thing about experience is until you know what's going on and you have that experience there's nothing to expect," Smith said. "So, it's really hard to have realistic expectations when you don't know what you're getting into. All and all, although he didn't play well. He's a sophomore and I think he's going to rebound very well and, play a strong round Tuesday.
"He knows what he's up against. He's certainly not intimidated. So, now he can go out there and hopefully have a little more fun.