Miller Brings the Frys.com Open Home to Silverado
Sept. 17, 2014
“I built a whole career on playing great golf in January and February, and now with the October (wraparound schedule), it’s important to get off to a good start,” said World Golf Hall of Famer Johnny Miller, who won 13 of his 25 PGA Tour titles in January or February.
Miller is now hosting the first tournament of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season Oct. 9-12, as the Frys.com Open is moving to his Silverado Resort in Napa, after spending the last four years at CordeValle in San Martin.
Defending Frys.com Open champion Jimmy Walker mirrored the Desert Fox’s modus operandi, winning three of his first eight tournaments of the 2013-14 season to lock up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team by the second week of February.
Walker shot 62-66 over the weekend at CordeValle to win his first PGA Tour event at the Frys.com Open and tee of the 2013-14 season.
“I think it really boosted my confidence, because it was my first win on the PGA Tour,” Walker said. “The next time I got in that position, I felt like I could close the door. It sure felt nice to get a leg up on the field right away, and then continue to play well after that. It’s addicting to see your name at the top, and it definitely makes you want to stay there for the rest of the year.”
Miller is especially proud to join the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and host a PGA Tour event, bringing one to his home of Napa. Miller used to live on the 11th hole of Silverado’s North Course, and he joined an investment group that bought the resort in 2010.
Miller has since redesigned both courses, and restored the prestige of the North Course, a previous PGA Tour venue.
“I can’t say I dreamed of owning Silverado because the thought never entered my mind,” Miller told Golf.com shortly after the redesign was completed in 2011. “But I sure thought about redesigning these courses about 4,000 times, probably as far back as the early 1970s.”
Silverado hosted PGA Tour events from 1968 to 1980 — including the Kaiser Invitational Opens Miller won in 1974 and 1975. The resort also hosted a Champions Tour event from 1989 to 2002.
And Miller thinks Silverado’s North Course will be quite the test when the pros return.
“If you had Tour pros play here from the back tees and no rough, with the greens running fast, I’d be surprised if anyone shot 12 or 13 under par for an event, which is strong for no rough,” Miller said. “This is a tough golf course. These greens are as tough as Augusta at high speeds.”
The early reviews have applauded Miller’s work. The North Course was ranked No. 16 in California on Golfweek‘s Best Courses You Can Play list, as well as 27th in America’s Top 50 Courses for Women.
“I made every decision on the course for the first time in my life,” Miller said. “For once I could say if you hate it, it’s my fault. If you like it, it’s my fault.”