NORTON, MA —- Legendary Hall of Famer Johnny Miller will be the guest speaker and honored with the 22nd Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s 68th Annual Banquet. The Banquet, which has become the largest annual golf dinner in America, is scheduled for Thursday, April 11th at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The Connolly Group – Morgan Stanley will again be the Presenting Sponsor.
“Johnny Miller was one of the truly outstanding players and has gone on to become a highly respected commentator on NBC’s golf coverage. His closing 63 at Oakmont in the 1973 U.S. Open is considered one of the greatest rounds in golf history. He will be coming to us direct from The Masters, so it should be fascinating to hear his thoughts on today’s golf and look back at how he was one of the most dominant players of his era. Having Johnny will be a truly memorable evening we are all looking forward to,” said Jim Blue, Ouimet Fund President.
Mr. Miller said of the Ouimet Award and Banquet, “I am really honored to receive this special award. As a young boy, my dad told me of Mr. Ouimet’s stunning 1913 U.S. Open win and how it inspired so many American players and brought thousands to the game. I am so thrilled to be included with the long list of special recipients of the Ouimet Award and looking forward to coming to Boston in April. I’m also very happy it will benefit many young people who work in golf.”
Mr. Blue went on to describe the great history of the Banquet and its honorees, which have included the late Arnold Palmer, Former President George H.W. Bush, Peter Jacobsen, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk.
Ticket and sponsorship information will be announced shortly on the Ouimet Fund’s website www.ouimet.org. Mr. Miller had a tremendous record, winning 25 PGA TOUR events, including the ’73 U.S. Open and The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1976. He had a dominant stretch in the mid-seventies, with eight wins in 1974, and seven more over the next two seasons. He was a superlative ball-striker, which was highlighted when he hit all 18 greens at Oakmont in his historic final round. He cast a striking figure as he was long and lean with a flowing swing and longish blond hair. In 1994, Mr. Miller enjoyed one final victory at the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1996. He stepped away from regular PGA Tour competition in the mid-eighties, and in 1990 became the lead commentator for NBC Golf, where he is paired with Mr. Hicks. As a broadcaster, Mr. Miller is known for his insightful and candid commentary, which occasionally sharply critiques and rankles players. He has grown to become a beloved figure for NBC, and fans consistently tune in to hear Mr. Miller’s thoughts and opinions on the world of golf.
Mr. Miller grew up in San Francisco and showed great golf talent from an early age. He was invited to join the Olympic Club as a junior member, and then won the famed San Francisco Junior Cities Championship in 1963 and the U.S. Junior in 1964. In 1966, he qualified for and eventually finished 8th and Low Amateur in the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. He won the California State Amateur title in 1968 while a student at Brigham Young University, where he was an All-American. He graduated BYU and joined the Tour in 1969. Mr. Miller makes his home with his wife, Linda, in Napa, California and Utah. They have six children and twenty-four grandchildren. His has designed or re-designed 34 golf courses, including Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, of which he is part owner. He is deeply involved in junior golf in California and Utah and is very dedicated to a scholarship which provides funding to Native Americans. Additionally, he hosts a “fantasy” golf experience at The Pebble Beach Golf Links, and his own Golf Academy at Silverado Resort and Spa. Mr. Miller truly enjoys playing golf with amateurs and likes to grow the game that way. He proudly points to three PGA TOUR victories which came at Pebble Beach in Pro-Am events across three different decades! The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund was founded in 1949, and since then has awarded nearly $36 Million in need-based college tuition assistance to young people who served at least two years as caddies or in pro shop and course superintendent operations in Massachusetts. In the upcoming school year, The Fund will award $2.2 Million in scholarships to 350 financial scholars, who will go on to attend a wide variety of colleges across the country 155 colleges. A total of 5,800 students have received Ouimet Scholarships and many have gone on to outstanding positions of leadership in business and
professional careers. The Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization.