• Wins
    1
  • Turned Pro
    1969
  • Previous Opens
    17
  • Champion golfer of the year
    1976

Johnny Miller

In the mid-1970s, Johnny Miller was the best player in the world. Blond mane flapping, the man from San Francisco, with an elegant, flowing swing, had a knack for shooting extremely low scores. The closer he hit his approach shots, the more aggressive he got.
  • Fishing, golf club design, ranching and golf course architecture

    Personal interests

  • He was the first player to shoot 63 in a major to win the 1973 US Open

    Did you know?

  • 35

    Professional wins

In the mid-1970s, Johnny Miller was the best player in the world. Blond mane flapping, the man from San Francisco, with an elegant, flowing swing, had a knack for shooting extremely low scores. The closer he hit his approach shots, the more aggressive he got.

He embraced the thought of trying to birdie every hole. At Oakmont in 1973 he won the US Open with a final round of 63, which had never before been scored in a major championship. In 1974 he won the Phoenix Open by 14 strokes.

In 1976 at Royal Birkdale, with the course scorched by the summer heatwave, Miller closed with a 66 to win by six strokes from Jack Nicklaus and a 19-year-old Seve Ballesteros. The youngster had been leading for three days but was too wayward compared to the precision of Miller, though Seve stole the show with his chip at the last hole.

Miller

Although there were more tour wins to come for Miller, and he played in two Ryder Cups, his spell as one of the very best golfers was short-lived. He was something of a prodigy, finishing as the leading amateur as a 19-year-old in the 1966 US Open on his home course of Olympic Club.

But once he was married with a family, his priorities changed and he spent weeks on end at home on his ranch. Comparing his ambition with that of Jack Nicklaus, Miller once said: “When I got to the mountaintop, I kind of looked at the scenery and wondered, ‘Now what?’ When Jack got there, he said, ‘Where’s the next mountain?’”

Miller became a television commentator but played in, and won, the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 1994 at the age of 46. “This isn’t right, this is a fluke,” he said. “I’m a grandfather for crying out loud.”

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Royal Birkdale 1991
M/C
74
80
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Troon 1989
49
72
69
76
73
290
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1988
52
75
73
72
75
295
-
Turnberry 1986
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1984
31
75
71
70
72
288
-
Royal Troon 1982
22
71
76
75
72
294
-
Royal St George's 1981
39
71
73
73
76
293
-
Muirfield 1980
WD
77
70
73
-
-
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1979
57
77
73
77
76
303
-
St Andrews 1978
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
Turnberry 1977
9
69
74
67
74
284
-
Royal Birkdale 1976
1
72
68
73
66
279
-
Carnoustie 1975
3
71
69
66
74
280
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1974
10
72
75
73
74
294
-
Royal Troon 1973
2
70
68
69
72
279
-
Muirfield 1972
15
76
66
72
75
289
-
Royal Birkdale 1971
47
72
76
70
79
297
-

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