The University of Miami has many great athletes in a variety of sports. Not many people consider Tina Miller to be one of the best, mainly because of a lack of exposure.
Miller, the captain of the women’s golf team, is perhaps the best athlete at the school and may have the most professional potential. She won her first tournament of the season at the Cougar Fall Classic and earned a No. 4 national ranking, the highest for any women’s golfer at UM in a long time.
So why is it that while everyone notices the stars of football, basketball, and baseball, no one notices Miller, who could possibly be the best athlete at this school?
Miller is the Hurricanes’ female version of Tiger Woods, dominating the women’s golf field.
Miller burst onto the golf scene two years ago when she finished in the top 10 in six out of eight tournaments. Last year she won two tournaments and was runner up twice. She also finished tied for the lead in the Big East Championship. Miller ended last season with 19 consecutive rounds in the 70s and has picked up right where she left off this season.
Miller even has the typical superstar family background. She comes from a golfing family, as her great-grandfather was a professional golfer and her dad owns a golf course. Miller has grown up in the sport, which has helped her learn to play it well.
The typical women’s sport superstar is personable, friendly, looks good, and is great at her sport. Miller has all of these qualities. She is kind, easy to get along with, and as her coach, Lela Cannon said, Miller always looks good and plays well.
Miller is well-respected by her teammates, her coach, and those who follow women’s collegiate golf. However, the average student or UM sports fan has no idea who she is. Most people would not recognize her if she walked by them, or even if they saw her playing golf. If Kellen Winslow or Darius Rice walks by, however, everyone recognizes them.
Arguably, Miller has achieved as much as anyone in her sport. Six top 10s in eight tournaments her freshman year was an amazing achievement. Her sophomore year was even more impressive, winning or coming in second in four out of 10 tournaments. As a junior this year, she has already won a tournament and will probably win a few more titles by the time her UM career is over.
So the primary reason that no one knows Miller is that she is female and plays golf. If Tiger Woods was female, would anyone care about how good he was? Probably not.
The bottom line is that women’s sports continue to slip under the radar, and golf is a collegiate sport that is not closely watched anyway. The problem with this is that Miller’s UM career will come and go, and most people will never even notice that she was here. They will have missed out on a great athlete and a great person. Sometimes the best things in life go unnoticed.