The United States Golf Association today named John “Spider” Miller, of Bloomington, Ind., as the captain of the USA Team for the 2015 Walker Cup Match at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s Golf Club in Lancashire, England.
Miller is a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, winning in 1996 and 1998, and a member of the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Miller, 63. “I am extremely thrilled and honored. It’s one of the goals that amateurs aspire to and I’m very fortunate to have been selected to follow Jim Holtgrieve. I will be reaching out to former captains, all of whom are my friends, to help me prepare.”
“Spider Miller has the experience as a competitive amateur at the highest level as well as all the requirements necessary to provide superb leadership for the USA Walker Cup Team in 2015,” said USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. “Tapped as guardian of one of golf’s greatest traditions, Spider’s patriotism, competitive spirit, camaraderie and passion for the game will help make the 2015 competition exceptional and memorable,” O’Toole added.
The Walker Cup Match is a 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland. The 2015 Match will be played Sept. 12-13. The 44th Match will be played Sept. 7-8, 2013, at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., which was the site of the first Walker Cup in 1922. The USA leads the competition, 34-8-1.
Miller defeated Randy Lewis, 3 and 2, to capture the 1996 U.S. Mid-Amateur title at Hartford Golf Club, in West Hartford, Conn. In 1998, he became the oldest Mid-Amateur champion at the time, by winning at age 48. Miller posted a 1-up victory over Chip Holcombe in the final at NCR Country Club’s South Course, in Kettering, Ohio.
Miller, who played in two Masters Tournaments as a result of his Mid-Amateur victories, represented the United States at the 1999 Walker Cup Match, played at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. He teamed with Hunter Haas to win a pair of foursomes matches before losing to Paul Casey, 3 and 2, in singles. Miller also led Indiana to a tie for third at the 1997 USGA Men’s State Team Championship by carding a 54-hole score of 209 (four under par).
A native of Bloomington, Ind., Miller was inducted into the Indiana Golf Association (IGA) Hall of Fame in 2000. He twice was chosen IGA Player of the Year and is a two-time IGA Mid-Amateur champion. He and partner Jerry Nelson claimed five IGA Four-Ball championships and he was the low amateur at the Indiana State Open three times.
Miller also won the 1999 Crump Cup at Pine Valley Golf Club and has won the Gasparilla Invitational and Tri-State Championship twice each.
A 1973 graduate of Indiana University, Miller owns Best Beers, Inc. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.