Miller's amateur partner is Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who lives in Portola Valley. Playing with Bramlett is Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, who resides in Los Altos Hills. Miller and Bramlett were hardly yahoos on the course.
Bramlett carded a 3-under-par 69, four strokes behind co-leaders D.A. Points and Steve Marino. Bramlett registered six birdies, three bogeys. Miller, who had four birdies and four bogeys, finished an even-par 72.
They both have a chance to improve their score today on the Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore Course, the easiest of the three courses used in the tournament. The foursome tees off at 8:44 a.m. on the 10th tee.
Miller was a senior at Stanford when Bramlett, a St. Francis-Mountain View alum, was a freshman. That year, 2007, the Cardinal won the NCAA men's golf championship. On Thursday, they were competing against each other. Bramlett has some catching up to do. Miller won $121,000 on the Nationwide Tour last year and has a $63,000 edge over Bramlett in money earnings, their PGA careers in embryonic stages.
Miller tied for 25th at the Bob Hope Classic and tied for 29th at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
"Joe and I are close friends," said Miller, who prepped at the Branson School in Ross, Calif. "That said, we really want to beat each other. There were a couple of times when we had conversations up the fairway. We're both focusing on what we have to do ourselves. When this event is over, we'll look back and say, 'How fun was that?'"
"It was awesome playing with Zack," Bramlett said. "We have so many special memories."
Miller had the most dynamic shots, bailing himself out of potential trouble. He holed out from 57 yards out at No. 18 to salvage par, the ball taking one hop and into the cup. It was a great up-and-down for Miller, who hit a provisional ball after his drive found the ocean. At the par-4 No. 16, Miller chipped in for birdie. After chunking one out of the trap at the par-3 No. 5, Miller took a slow walk toward the ocean to gather himself. He returned and promptly chipped in for par.