Henry Clay golfer Miller wins 29th Tommy Bell Award

mfields@herald-leader.comMay 8, 2014 

  • Tommy Bell winners

    2014Alison Miller, Henry Clay

    2013Nick Laureano, Lex. Catholic

    2012Patrick Keller, Lex. Catholic

    2011Kate Stromberg, Henry Clay

    2010Brett Durbin, Lafayette

    2009Matt Zarth, Henry Clay

    2008Nathan Novosel, Lex. Catholic

    2007Jay Embree, Tates Creek

    2006Justin Burke, Lex. Catholic

    2005Jessie Martin, Henry Clay

    2004Jessica Warren, Henry Clay

    2003David Buchanan, Henry Clay

    2002Jenny Noort, Lex. Christian

    2001Neeley Thomas, Paul Dunbar

    2000Bobby Haggard, Lafayette

    1999Whitney Criswell, Lafayette

    1998Hallison Putnam, Sayre

    1997Hallison Putnam, Sayre

    1996Andy Green, Lex. Christian

    1995Lee Greer, Tates Creek

    1994George Birk, Henry Clay

    1993Matt Meighan, Paul Dunbar

    1992Stephen Wang, Lafayette

    1991Darrin Horn, Tates Creek

    1990Nick Morrow, Henry Clay

    1989Shelley Kincaid, Bryan Station

    1988Alan Wang, Lafayette

    1987Rick Holt, Henry Clay

    1986Patty Webb, Tates Creek

Alison Miller is a self-described perfectionist, which explains why the Henry Clay senior excels in the classroom. She has a weighted grade-point average of 4.7, and her workload this school year has included advanced placement calculus II and English literature.

"I analyze things so much, that's just the way my brain works," she said. "That's good for my academics, but sometimes it hinders my golf.

"Sometimes I overthink things."

Not that it shows.

Miller, a six-year letter winner, helped Henry Clay to four consecutive city titles. The Blue Devils were region champs the past two years and went on to place third in the state tournament. Miller shot a final-round 75 at Bowling Green Country Club last fall to crack the top 20.

Miller's successes in the classroom and on the golf course earned her the 29th annual Tommy Bell Award, which goes to the outstanding high school student-athlete in Fayette County.

Miller received the award from the sponsoring Lexington Rotary Club at a luncheon on Thursday.

The honor also recognized Miller's community involvement as a volunteer at Shriners Hospital for Children, God's Food Pantry and the Salvation Army. She leaves Friday morning on a mission trip to Haiti.

Miller will attend Centre College where she will play golf, following in the footsteps of her sister Whitney.

Whitney is now director of marketing at Houston Oaks, a golf course in Paris owned by her parents, Danny and Susan Miller, and her grandmother, Rosa Lee Rankin.

The Miller girls learned the game from their father, who played for Henry Clay and the University of Kentucky.

"I've never had a lesson from anybody else," Alison said. "He's a very patient, calm teacher. He never raises his voice."

Danny Miller, who played in the 1985 U.S. Open, has all but given up competitive golf over the last decade. He's been too busy running Houston Oaks and watching his daughters play the game.

"I get more enjoyment out of teaching them, and passing on some management skills," he said. "To see them have some success is rewarding. I couldn't be luckier."

The most important lesson he's taught them?

"Smile and have fun, whether you shoot 90 or shoot 70, Take it as it goes," he said.

Alison, the self-described perfectionist, is perfectly happy to follow that advice.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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