Shaler golfer achieves goal, earns trip to Oakmont
Sunday, October 4, 2020 | 11:01 AM
Emilee Miller scribbles down maybe five or so goals in a notebook before the start of every golf season.
Several have been old standards — like qualifying for WPIAL Class AAA championships — for the Shaler Area senior.
All of Miller’s goals were rooted with an overarching theme.
“I wanted to be more consistent this year,” Miller said.
Miller, who competes in the WPIAL championships at the Oakmont Country Club on Oct. 8, qualified by shooting an 88 on Sept. 21 at Fox Chapel Country Club.
It was a big step for Miller, who missed qualifying last year by three strokes after going as a sophomore.
“One thing I noticed at the sectional level was that she was confident and her mind was at ease,” Titans coach David Lapmarado said. “That’s a big asset she’s had this year over previous years. I believe she’s going to play well at Oakmont.”
Miller also wanted to make sure she could keep up with her freshman brother, Joey. He qualified for the WPIAL semifinals the day before.
“I was grateful we were able to play this year,” Miller said. “I played almost every day. We went to the range and practiced all the time.”
Changing clubs also helped Miller knock some items off her list. To shore up her short game, Miller switched to a lighter-weight putter. She ended up switching clubs with her dad.
Lapmarado believed the switch made a big difference. Having the right equipment is necessary for any job.
“Absolutely, it’s one of those things,” Lapmarado said. “Whether you are a mechanic or a plumber, there are tools of the trade you have to put your trust in. If your wedges and putter don’t feel good, it makes the rest of the game difficult to play.”
Having a strong game plan will be important for Miller at Oakmont. A notoriously difficult golf course, Miller was able to get a practice round in to try and get an idea of what to expect.
“I learned that the fairways are deceiving,” Miller said. “A straight drive can be in the rough.”
Whatever happens at Oakmont, Miller wants to keep focused on the task ahead.
Making WPIALs was in the notebook. How she finishes is still to be written.
“The last WPIALs I was in, I wasn’t focused and was timid in my shots,” Miller said. “It is my last WPIALs. I want to go in confident and try my best. If I have a bad hole, I don’t want to take it with me to the next one.”
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