Shame on you, Todd Miller!
In a move that stunned golf fans around the country, Brigham Young University golfer Todd Miller, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a returned missionary, withdrew from the Utah Mens State Amateur Golf tournament, after refusing to play the final round on Sunday.
What this means is that his opponent, Clark Rustand, also did not get to play on Sunday, and won the round by default, something, I’m sure, he did not want to do. He wanted to play. This is not the victory he desired.
So why would Miller do such a thing? “What I do on Sundays is more important than golf,” Miller was quoted as saying at the time, according to an article from the Associated Press.
So why did he sign up at all? By signing up, he entered into a contract with the tournament and the other golfers. If he knew the final round was on Sunday—as he obviously did–and he also knew he would not be willing to play on Sunday, why was he there at all?
After listening to an impassioned plea by his father, professional golfer Johnny Miller, I think I know why he did it. Miller senior once stated he wanted to lead a tournament in the PGA and then withdraw on Sunday just to make a statement.  In the news conference I watched, Johnny Miller, emotion choking his voice, told the news media that golfing on Sunday was not right, and that all golfers should be ashamed that they had allowed it to go on for so long. Here, I have to ask, golfing on Sundays is not right according to whom, Mr. Miller? The Mormon Church?
Now, while I appreciate that Mr. Millers Senior and Junior have the right to worship as they please, what right do they have to push that on to the rest of the world, or in this case, the state? As a faithful Mormon, young Mr. Miller should have declined to play in the tournament at all, realizing that should he continue on, he would be required to play on Sunday, something that went against his beliefs. That would have been the appropriate thing to do. That would have been the Christian thing to do. But it certainly lacked the splash he got from the actions he chose to take. No one would have noticed. Johnny Miller wouldn’t have had a press conference, because no one would have been there to listen. Todd Miller would not have been able to make a stance against playing on Sunday.
Now, Clark Rustand has been denied the thrill of victory, achieving his win only through default. Rustand, another BYU golfer, and also Mormon, was willing to play on Sunday. But it was not to be.
There is an arrogance about Utah Mormons that other Mormons across the country do not share. Here, where the majority rules, and our state laws and legislature are ruled surreptitiously by the Mormon hierarchy, the faithful LDS are used to getting their way. This was one instance where they did not. Did Todd Miller make a statement? I believe he did. I doubt, however, it was the statement he intended to make. Both he and his father wanted the rules changed to suit their religion and their beliefs. Instead, Todd Miller violated the rules of fair play, and dashed the hopes of one other Utah amateur golfer.
While I applaud Todd Miller for standing true to his religious beliefs, he did not thoroughly consider his actions. This is something that will long have reverberations for him throughout his career.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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4 Responses to 109026504766780450

  1. Brenna says:

    Since when is keeping the Sabbath JUST an LDS idea…it’s not ‘according’ to Johnny Miller, or Todd.

    The Sabbath is honored in the ten commandments, which is not only an LDS idea last time I checked.


  2. Ryan says:

    I agree with Brenna. What % of the US is Christian? At least a large majority, yet, as you said, majority rules… that is… those not willing to follow thier own beliefs. In addition, what would this country be today without people willing to take a public stand for what they believe to be right. I guess we’d still have slaves and be part of Britian.

    One thing Todd Miller did show is that the competition probably wasn’t valid in the first place. How can a tounament crown a champion when it could be excluding great players like Todd?

    We need more people like Todd Miller who are willing to stand up for they believe.


  3. melanie says:

    Hello! I am a Mormon, not a Utah Mormon, but my family and I make our own way in the world. If Pop Warner schedules picture day on Sunday it is a given with the coach and all the players that our son will not be there. The secret is if you make a choice don’t wishy washy back and forth. Either we don’t or we do and we don’t and it has worked for us now for 27 years of marriage and six children.


  4. Carolyn says:

    My son will love this! He has lived to golf from age 3!. At 10 he played and did well in over 15 tournaments just this summer from Cleveland to Pittsburg. He skipped every Sunday event. We are Mormon, do not live in Utah, and our son has been extremely blessed because HE has chosen to follow God’s commandments. God will provide a way for him to develop this rare and wonderful talent he has been blessed with. I’m sure you will hear more of him! But not at a Sunday event.


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