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“We were actually debating going to the qualifier because I was an alternate,” Miller said. “We didn’t play a practice round. One of the reasons I did want to go is the fact that I wanted to see the golf course. I didn’t play Sunday. Actually, I took my son and my wife, we went to a Cleveland Indians game. And they lost.”

One of the thrills of U.S. Open qualifying is the chance to be paired with a PGA Tour player _ Blake Adams in this case, and he also qualified. But expectations were not terribly high until everything finally fell his way _ a great day of driving, making enough putts, finishing on 141 and being told it probably wouldn’t be enough, finding out he was in a playoff, making a 25-foot par putt to stay in the playoff, and then the putt that decided to fall and fulfill a dream.

Miller never imagined being compared with Tiger Woods, for the way the putt dropped was reminiscent of Woods’ chip-in at the 2005 Masters.

“You couldn’t script this story,” he said.

Miller swapped out his Titleist cap for the San Francisco 49ers, but don’t get the idea he’s playing to the crowd. He’s been a fan since the Youngstown-based DeBartolo family owned the team, and John York and Denise DeBartolo supported his trip out west. Some local groups got together to sponsor him, and Miller now looks like some of the pros with logos on his shirt _ Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt and Ristvey Investment Group on the chest, and Auntie Anne’s pretzels on the sleeve.

“I’ve got ice cream and pretzels. What does that tell you,” said Miller, not needing to say he has indulged in both more than once.

Miller is not here to soak in the scenery, rub elbows with the best and go home. He expects to play well. He has no false illusions about winning. He realizes who he is and what brought him to this stage. And he understands what _ and whom _ he is up against.

He is a working-class golfer, a point driven home to him just two days after his greatest moment in golf.

“We actually had a Chamber of Commerce golf outing Wednesday,” he said. “Had 300 golfers out there. I worked about 14 hours that day. That was my preparation up to this week.”