Tigers' Miller shoots memorable round
Northwestern's Cole Miller set a course record at Olde Homestead in New Tripoli during a match earlier this season.
Most golfers have gotten that unforgettable feeling for a shot or two. Some have even played stretches of a few holes or more where the ball just seemed to go where they wanted it to on nearly every shot.
But very, very few golfers can sustain that for an entire round.
One of those few is Northwestern junior Cole Miller. In a match against Pen Argyl on August 27 Miller shot a career low 63. He made nine birdies and no bogeys, shooting 3-under par on the front nine and a 6-under 30 on the back side.
His previous low was 64, shot at his home course, Blue Ridge Country Club. But he wasn't thinking about that number a few weeks ago while he marched to the 63 at Olde Homestead.
"I was thinking about how well I was playing," he said. "The game just seemed pretty easy at the time. I kept chugging away. I wasn't too focused on a number."
Miller hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and made up and down par saves on the other three. He rolled 26 putts in his round, which started with a two-putt birdie on the par 5 first hole.
"I lipped out my eagle putt," Miller said. "But that got me off to a good start.
"I think more than anything I was hitting my wedges a lot better that day than normally. I think my average birdie putt made was like 10 feet."
The 63 was played from the gold Homesteader tees, which measures 6,049 yards. It's a course record from those tees and possibly the lowest score ever shot at the course. The course record from the deeper tees is 65.
While that's his lowest round all year, Miller had kept his scores in the 60s every match until Monday, when he carded a 2-under par 70 on a windy Olde Homestead course.
"My putter's coming around and my driver's in play," he said. "That's really what you need on courses like this.
"This is the perfect time of year to be playing good golf. You have some big tournaments coming up, like the Lehigh Valley Amateur and states."
Miller will try to defend his Colonial League title a week from today at the league tournament, held at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
He will also lead the Tigers into their second straight appearance in the four-team league tournament.
Miller has an ability to consistently hit great shots, but that's only part of what makes him so successful. His head coach praised his patience, which was needed during Monday's wind-swept round of 70.
"He wasn't playing as well as he felt he should be today," said Northwestern head coach Tim Miller. "But he stays patient. He doesn't get ahead of himself when he's playing. He has an ability to stay in the moment and play every shot for what it's worth."
Miller hopes to continue his play through the high school postseason and Lehigh Valley Amateur Tournament, which is held at Green Pond at the end of this month.
DISTRICT GOLF POSTSEASON .... This season marks the first time District 11 will crown individual champions in two classes.
The Class AA and AAA tournaments will take place at the same course on the same day, October 8 at Shawnee Golf Resort.
The district qualifier will be held a week earlier at Woodstone Country Club in Danielsville. The top 20 boys scores plus ties will advance to the Class AAA championship while the top 18 scores plus ties advance in Class AA.
A qualifying tournament will not be used for the District 11 girls players. Because their numbers are fewer, any girl who averages 100 or less gets into the district tournament field.
Two District 11 team champs will also be crowned this year for the first time. League team champs from all four leagues (Schuylkill, Mountain Valley, Colonial and Lehigh Valley) will play in the team championship. The rest of the teams will be selected based on rankings points.
Four teams in each class will play for the team title on Wednesday, October 3 at Willowbrook Golf Course in Catasauqua.
The splitting of the field means the past two individual district champs, Northwetsern's Cole Miller (2011) and Northampton's Evan Notaro (2010) will not compete against one another at districts, regionals or states.
"I'm a little disappointed that they are changing some of it," Miller said. "When you are playing competitive golf you want to play against everyone."
HIGH-SCORING WEEKEND .... Jim Thorpe's Cat Condly will always remember the program's first-ever varsity game against non-conference foe Lehighton. Meanwhile, Kailee Rottet, of Tamaqua, will reminisce about building a comfortable lead to run away with a win over Palmerton.
The junior Olympian has a career day against the Mountain Valley Conference's own Indians. Condly scored not one, but what added up to two "hat-tricks" in a 6-4 victory over the Indians. Condly rattled off six goals in a matter of 40 minutes of competitive play.
Condly was the key ingredient for the Olympians to walk away with first year coach Tom Condly's first win as head coach and the program's first win of the young season.
Rottet was one goal short of matching Condly. The senior Blue Raider was able to record five goals herself in a 7-2 victory over the Blue Bombers.
On the boys' side, Jim Thorpe's Corey Ligenza and Steve Principe both recorded hat-tricks in a 12-0 win over Weatherly.
TIGER ON THE SCORING PROWL .... The Northwestern girls' soccer team is off to an undefeated 6-0 start in the early going of this season.
While the Tigers have outscored their first four Colonial League opponents and two non-conference opponents 41-7 thus far, Sara Segan alone has accounted for 44-percent of those goals herself. The sophomore Tiger is on a terror as she has averaged a hat-trick (three goals) a game and has 18 total scores on the season.
Segan scored five times in a 10-2 win over East Pennsboro, while she had scored four times in a 5-0 victory over Southern Lehigh. Her lone real hat-trick came in the first game of the season a Northwestern 6-3 win over Allentown Central Catholic.