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Middle Country's Miranda wins second Suffolk title
Middle Country junior Michael Miranda won his second straight Suffolk Individual Championship on Tuesday, shooting an even-par 72 on Day 1 and a two-over 74 on Day 2 at Indian Island Golf Course for a two-day total of 146.
Miranda sank a seven-foot put for par on the par-4 18th hole for the outright win, edging out Smithtown West’s Tom Whelan and Sayville’s Kyle Burke by one stroke.
“He’s always clutch,” Middle Country coach Don Matlock said. “He’s calm, collected, he knows exactly what he wants to do, and he just goes out and executes. He’s like a machine, he does it almost to perfection.”
Matlock, who has coached Miranda since he was an eighth-grader, noted his mental growth as his greatest improvement.
“When I saw him play for the first time, I knew he had natural talent; he had a natural gift,” Matlock said. “His growth from then to now is just phenomenal. He went from being a good golfer to being the best county. He has a target on his back, everyone knows who he is, and for him to keep everyone at bay and win it back-to-back just shows mental growth. He has all the physical abilities, but he has grown so much in the mental aspect of the game. It’s unbelievable how calm and how focused he is.”
According to Matlock, it is the first time in 10 years that someone has won back-to-back county championships. Miranda went undefeated this year, going 12-0 with a stroke average of 1.8-over par to help lead Middle Country (10-2) to a share of the League II championship with Sachem East, its first league title since 1996.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling to know that I’m apart of his life,” Matlock said. “Forget golf, he’s a wonderful human being. For me to be as close to him as I am and to be able to watch his success is just special.”