Twice a winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, John “Spider” Miller will captain the U.S. Walker Cup team when the matches head to England in 2015.
A member of the Walker Cup team in 1999, Miller won his first U.S. Mid-Am title in 1996, then in 1998 became the oldest to capture the event at the time, winning at the NCR Club in Dayton, Ohio, at age 48. Now 63, the native of Bloomington, Ind., will lead a squad of 10 Americans in two years’ time against a team from Great Britain & Ireland in the biennial version of the Ryder Cup for the game’s top amateurs.
“I’m very excited about it,” he explained as part of a release from the USGA announcing his appointment. “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.'
The announcement of Miller’s captaincy comes with the 2013 matches still two months away, as Holtgrieve will captain the American squad for the second consecutive time when the event is held Sept. 7-8 at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y. Miller will then take over when the 2015 matches return to England, held Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, which hosted last year’s British Open.
Twice named the Indiana Golf Association's Player of the Year, Miller was inducted into the IGA Hall of Fame in 2000. Following his second U.S. Mid-Am title, he largely stepped away from competitive golf, opting instead to spend more time with his family and focus on his business endeavors. Now tasked with scouting the country's top amateurs across the next two years, Miller indicated that he will rely on the expertise of those that preceded him in the position.
'I will be reaching out to former captains, all of whom are my friends, to help me prepare,' he added.