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Adam Miller Blazes Through Day One of Stroke Play Qualifying

Adam Miller Blazes Through Day One of Stroke Play Qualifying

SCOTTSDALE – Phoenix’s Adam Miller navigated Desert Highlands Golf Club with ease Monday during the first round of Stroke Play Qualifying at the 99th Arizona Amateur Championship, posting seven birdies with no bogeys to take the 18-hole lead at -7. Miller’s 65 was two strokes better than Jonathan Curran and Sam Engel, both of Scottsdale, both of whom shot matching rounds of -5 (67). Click here to view the full leaderboard.

“The front nine was a good start, I was hitting it solid and I was two under after nine,” said Miller, 18, a two-time JGAA tournament winner in 2022. “There’s still another day of stroke play, and I’ve got to focus on that, and focus on match play to come and whoever I get in that.”

Miller made the turn at -2, but reeled off five birdies on the back nine to take the clubhouse lead. He birdied three of his last four holes, including a chip-in on 15, setting his sights on a repeat performance in Tuesday’s final round of stroke play qualifying.

“I can give myself one to two bogeys tomorrow and I’ll say one to two bogeys in 36 holes is pretty solid out here,” said Miller, who will tee off in the afternoon wave of play Tuesday after being in the fourth group out Monday morning. “I’ll take wherever that puts me at the end.”

Engel matched Miller in the birdie department with seven on his round, only tripping up on the fifth hole with a double bogey. Curran, meanwhile, recorded six birdies on the day with one bogey. They sit one shot ahead of Phoenix’s Kurt Watkins (-4), who also made six birdies in his first round, with Paradise Valley’s Nick Kling and Phoenix’s Jake Chanen, the 2018 and 2020 Arizona Amateur Champion, rounding out the top five at -3.

“I was just focusing on committing to shots off the tee and from there being relatively conservative,” said Engel, the 2023 Arizona Mid-Amateur Champion at TPC Scottsdale-Champions Course. “I hit some good iron shots and got the ball relatively close and was able to take advantage of some good putting through the midway point of the round.”

After Tuesday’s final round of Stroke Play Qualifying, the top 64 players will compete in a match play competition to determine the 99th Arizona Amateur Champion. All Round of 64 matches will be held Wednesday, with Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches contested Thursday. Friday will see the Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches played, with the last two players remaining in the field squaring off in Saturday’s Championship match.

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