Golf (Boys Varsity)

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Muller makes the putt of a lifetime​​

By Wes Caldwell | May. 13, 2022 10:07 AM

Emme Orme, Staff September 8, 2021 The final putt. The footer that 2021 Highlands High School Alumnus Luke Muller had to seal his birdie on the last hole of the tournament. A birdie putt that would determine what Muller felt all along. That he just won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in Kentucky, which is better known as the Kentucky Amateur. Muller commented on when he began to realize that he was going to win the tournament. “I knew it would take another score under par. When I got to a point in the tournament where I was -10 felt comfortable and confident that I had the tournament won.” It took twelve hours to complete the second day of the Kentucky Junior Amateur, which is one of the longest days of the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour season. But as the day came to an end, Muller came out on top and took home the Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur for his first individual win as a golfer. To get to this point in his life he had overcome many challenges. Muller has been playing golf since he was about five years old. When he was a child, he was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s germ-fighting network. Luke’s father, John Muller, disclosed how treatment affected his son. “During chemo and the first year or so after treatment, Luke’s body was pretty worn down. One of those things we could do together for fun was play a little bit of golf. We could go putting or chipping or hit a few balls.” John is Muller’s biggest role model, as his family is very important to him. “My family is everything and to keep it short I would not be able to do anything I do or have had the success I’ve had if it weren’t for my parents giving me the opportunity.” After treatment, Muller had fallen in love with golf and decided to stick with it along with a few other sports. In sixth grade, Muller tried out for the middle school golf team. Although he didn’t start taking golf seriously until seventh grade, which is when he started playing competitively. A year later he made varsity as an eighth-grader, leading to him being on the varsity team for a total of six years. Highlands High School head varsity boy’s golf coach Bert Richey discussed how it was a joy to coach Luke. “He was a hard worker with a great attitude that made players around him better players and people he was always helping players with less experience so they would expect to do or what to expect.” During his sophomore year of high school is when he started leaning more towards pursuing golf in college over basketball. Luke commented on how he felt about making this decision. “It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I think I made the right choice.” During his senior year, Muller received several offers from different colleges to play golf such as Northern Kentucky (NKU), Kentucky Wesleyan (KWC), and Morehead State University (MSU). But when it came down to it in late October, Muller verbally committed to play golf for NKU. Muller shared his excitement for the upcoming golf season at NKU. “One of my personal goals is to qualify to play in all of the tournaments. As of now, I am 1/1 and we will be playing at EKU this weekend where NKU is defending champs. Our team goal is ultimately to get better every day and win the Horizon League Championship and get an NCAA national championship bid.” This previous summer Muller played in the Kentucky Junior Amateur. For this summer’s Kentucky Junior Amateur nearly all the best Kentucky junior players were in the field. Muller expressed how he felt going into the tournament. “I found a swing the day before the tournament and mainly during the first day of the tournament. [I] locked into that swing and kept it going for two days.” After day one of the tournament Muller was tied for first place. He had made two bogies to start, along with two birdies in his second round. Muller’s dad discussed how he caught up with his son after he wasn’t able to be there in the beginning. “I caught up with him when he was making the turn to his final nine. He had a bounce in his step and a little wry smile on his face. I’ve learned over the years that’s when he is about to do something good,” said John. After the conversation with his father, he was still tied for first because of making those two birdies. To conclude the tournament Muller made four more birdies. When making these birdies he had won by three strokes. “Golf has taught me a lot in life but mostly to never give up in anything you do and that no one owes you anything.”

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