42-Year-Old Teaching Pro Qualifies for U.S. Open on Excruciating Final Putt (Video)

by NESN Staff

June 5, 2012

One of the great quirks about golf's U.S. Open is that it truly is 'open.' Anyone who holds the status of a PGA professional, or has a United States Golf Association handicap index of 1.4 or better and $150 for an application fee is welcome to come out and try to make it through two sections of brutal qualifying rounds in an attempt to tee it up with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

This yields some great storylines, just like Dennis Miller. The Youngstown, Ohio native is a teaching pro who had likely given up on playing the PGA Tour years ago, but will get a chance to live out his dream for (at least) two days next week.

First, it needs to be noted that Miller was the third alternate in the sectional (final) qualifying rounds, so when he showed up to the course he had no idea if he would even get to tee off. However, after posting rounds of 70 and 71, Miller entered a four-man playoff for three spots in the Open.

Then, on the fourth playoff hole, with a chance to secure his spot, Miller endured one of the most excruciating moments in professional sports: watching a putt hang on the lip of the cup. The 25-footer looked to be on a perfect line, but lost a bit of steam as it approached the cup, lingering on the edge for about five whole seconds — long enough for Miller to turn his back in disappointment — before dropping in.

The 42-year-old will now get head to San Francisco's Olympic Club next week to try to conquer what's known as golf's most difficult test. Watch the video below to see Miller's heart stop.

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