HORSESHOE BAY, Texas (August 2, 2013) – Max Miller overcame a three shot deficit to win the 86th Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch. His final round 1-under-par 70 was good enough for a two shot victory.
Conducted by the Legends Junior Tour, the Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch featured a field of 120 boys from across the Lone Star state. More than 150 players attempted to qualify for the Championship, which is being ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek and the World Amateur Golf Rankings. They joined 60 players who earned exempt status based on their play throughout the year. The par-71 Ram Rock course played 6,811 yards for all competitors.
Miller, a 2015 grad who has committed to Texas A&M, began the final round three shots behind Andrew Paysse of Temple. It took only three holes for Miller to catch Paysse as Miller started par-par-birdie and Paysse went bogey-bogey-par. Jake McCrory of Deer Park, who began the day only two shots behind Paysse, also started bogey-bogey-par. For the next seven holes all three players struggled to make birdies.
"It’s tough. It’s an up-and-down golf course and you have to take your bogeys when you get them,” said Miller of the difficult Ram Rock layout. "When you make a birdie it’s like gaining two strokes on the field.”
After a double bogey on No. 11, Miller rebounded quickly with two straight birdies to open up a three shot lead. Birdies by McCrory on holes 14 and 15, coupled by a bogey from Miller on No. 16, shrunk the lead to one. Both players made par on No. 17 to setup a dramatic finish.
Miller’s tee shot on No. 18 found the right side of the fairway while McCrory found the left rough. Hitting first, Miller stuffed his second shot on the uphill, par-4 to five feet. McCrory hit a good shot as well but the lack of spin left him with a 15 foot downhill putt for birdie. After McCrory missed his birdie chance, Miller calmly rolled in his putt for the two-shot victory.
Miller, whose last Legends Junior Tour victory was the 2012 George Hannon Junior Invitational, joins an impressive list of past champions including Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke, Jeff Maggert and Scott Verplank.
"It’s an honor to have my name on that trophy,” said Miller.
When asked what it meant to have his Dad and Grandpa in attendance, Miller responded "It means a lot to have the support of both of them. I love them both to death.”
McCrory, a 2014 grad, finished runner-up at 3-over-over par 216. It was the second straight runner-up finish for him. Paysse’s final round 77 left him four shots back of Miller and alone in third place. Brandon Smith of Frisco took fourth place at 6-over-par 219. There was a three-way tie for fifth place between Chandler Phillips, Brian Rogers and Hunter Shattuck.
The Legends Junior Tour would like to thank the membership and staff of Horseshoe Bay Resort, Merrill Lynch, Nike Golf, live scoring and transportation volunteers, referees and the numerous college coaches for their support.
For more information on the Championship or the Legends Junior Tour, please visit www.TLJT.org or call (214) 468-8955.
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