Myles Murphy Playing In U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

Myles Murphy is participating in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championships this week in South Carolina.

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — When Myles Murphy stepped onto the Fieldstone Country Club course in Auburn Hills, Mich., on June 29, qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship was the furthest thing from his mind.

“I had qualified for the Ohio Am the day before, so I didn’t think much of the Junior Am because it’s so hard to make it. The course is really hard, so I just did my usual stuff and played without any extra stress,” Myles said. 

His dad, Brian Murphy, was at work, checking the scores on his phone. 

“When he got on his phone, I was on the 11th hole and birdied it to take the lead. He couldn’t believe it when I birdied two more and finished four under 67,” Myles said. “When I got done, I realized I ended up winning. I didn’t even know where the U.S. Junior Amateur was at.”

This week, the 18-year-old Anthony Wayne High School senior is in Charleston, S.C., as one of 264 golfers from around the world competing in the 75th annual tournament. Myles is the first-ever Anthony Wayne player to qualify for the tournament, but AW boys varsity golf coach Patrick Phillips isn’t surprised.

“Anthony Wayne has had some outstanding golfers and Myles being the first to qualify is a testament to the player he is,” Phillips said. 

“He is one of the most dedicated players I have coached. Myles prepares every day. He pays attention to his diet, he does strength training, practices every day and drives two hours to see his swing coach for lessons.”

Wearing his AW golf shirt and a hat from the University of Findlay –  where he will be a member of the golf team and study business next year – Myles was at Sylvania Country Club before 8:00 a.m. last week, warming up for a tournament in the days leading up to the U.S. Junior Amateur. 

“I’m not a big sleeper. I wake up by 6:30 or 7:00 every day,” he said. “There’s nothing else to do, so I go to the course.”

Growing up in a home on the seventh hole at Brandywine, Myles was young when he started to join his dad on the course, so getting out to play was as easy as a short golf cart ride.

Joining the high school team has provided him plenty of opportunities to improve his game, helping the team win the Northern Lakes League for three straight years. Last year, the Generals won both sectional and district championships, ending the season tied for fifth in the state. 

“When you’re on a good team and everyone is good, you’re going to push each other to be better,” Myles said.

He and senior Logan Sutto, who committed to play for Butler University, both belong to Belmont Country Club and play there regularly. They also travel together for tournaments. Sutto also competed in the qualifier for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and was named an alternate with a score of 69.

While ‘23 graduate Charlie Robertson, who will play for Lourdes University this fall, is gone, this fall’s team will remain strong with five of the six top players remaining, Phillips said.

“The guys are putting the work in this summer to have a great season,” he said. “They’re playing in multiple tournaments a week and some players have had some success statewide and even nationally in tournaments.”

Myles, who was named to the NLL and district first teams last year, was averaging in the low 70s but has racked up several rounds under par this summer.

“He has really challenged himself this summer by choosing to play in the bigger tournaments on tougher courses against better competition,” Phillips said.

That’s led to a dizzying schedule that includes every-other-week treks to Dayton to meet with swing coach Kevin Jones, as well as daily practices and tournaments. He’s usually on the course for more than an hour before his tee time to get practice in. Through it all, Myles has learned to stay relaxed and focused.

“I try to think as positive as possible. I used to be kind of a hothead on the course, but at the end of the day it doesn’t help,” he said. “It’s consistency with how you warm up. If you switch things up, it will result in making you overthink, and that’s where the doubt comes in. I try to stay positive. You can’t play well if you’re negative.”

He thinks back to that qualifier and how he propelled forward to earn the win. Starting on hole 10 – a par 3 – he went from the middle of the green and made par. Then he hit a few riskier shots.

“I knew I had to play well and I pulled them all off down the stretch,” he said. “I was nervous over those shots, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to hit it.”

Myles gets inspiration from pro Max Homa, who has funny Twitter posts.

“I really like his golf swing,” he said.

As he was preparing for the championship in Charleston, Myles noted that he’d had a lot of support from fellow players throughout the area. Joining him as caddie this week is St. John’s graduate Justy VonLehmden, the first person he called after the win at Fieldstone.

Myles is one of just four players from Ohio participating. Also qualifying were Finley Barlett from Cincinatti, Chris Pollak of Aurora and Jake Vojtko of Stow.

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