Mills Makes Steady Progress

By Ian HutchinsonApril 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
Sitting 123rd on the money list as he was last week, its unlikely that Jon Mills name will be whispered into Tiger Woods ear as the new Canadian superstar on the PGA TOUR when the latter returns from his recent knee surgery.
 
Outside the glare reserved for the games top players, Mills does have a few positives to contemplate, one being that he might avoid that nasty little competition at the end of the year called qualifying school.
 
Im happy, said Mills, 30, who appeared to be getting into contention with an outstanding 68 on Friday at the Byron Nelson Championship only to tumble down the leaderboard with a 77 on Saturday before finishing up with a 72 yesterday.
 
I feel like I got off to a decent start, but at the same time, I got myself into some positions where I could have had some better finishes. Im building from those events I played well at and using that confidence and hopefully, Ill get in the position again and will be able to finish it up better.
 
The recent Puerto Rico Open is a perfect example. In the Puerto Rico event, I was playing well and made a double on 17 and had a short par five (on the 18th hole) and failed to birdie that, he explained.
 
Mills could obsess on the negative, or draw whatever lesson he can from the experience and focus on the fact that he tied for 13th in Puerto Rico, the best finish in his short career on the PGA TOUR.
 
That lofty finish earned him a cool $70,000 and he followed that up with a tie for 20th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to earn another $74,813.33. His $207,388 as of last week is over three times what he earned his first time on tour in 2006 and its only May ' well, almost May.
 
Late spring presents new challenges for Mills, who has missed five cuts in 12 starts so far this year. While there are encouraging signs, he isnt a priority for getting into tournaments as the season heats up, so Mills will be on the sidelines some weeks.
 
Lack of action on the PGA TOUR could mean backing up on the money list, something he would rather avoid with the possibility of Q-School always in the back of the mind. On some off-weeks, Mills will play the Nationwide Tour, where he finished fourth on the 2007 money list to regain his PGA TOUR card.
 
Earlier this season, Mills expressed interest in playing the new Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic June 26-29 near Collingwood, but he now figures he may have a good chance of getting into the PGA TOURs Buick Open to be played at the same time in Michigan.
 
If Mills is to get into the Buick Open, it would work nicely in his quest to get into the British Open, which holds North American qualifying in Michigan right afterwards.
He is also scheduled to take part in U.S. Open qualifying after making it through to Oakmont last year, where he missed the cut in an event highlight by inflated scores. Still, he calls the 07 U.S. Open a building block in his career and more majors are on his mind.
 
At the start of the year, my goal was to play at least two of them, said Mills, adding that he has come to know Torrey Pines, the site of this years U.S. Open, through his participation at the Buick Invitational.
 
I played two years ago. I played this year, so I know the golf course, he said. I played it as a junior. I guess of all the PGA golf courses, apart from the Canadian Open, I think Im more experience on that golf course than any. Its not much experience, but its more experience than most of the other golf courses.
 
Its actually comical listening to Mills discuss the future as he seeks the dates of tournaments from wife Megan, apparently the schedule-keeper. I just show up and play, he said.
 
Thats a good thing because Mills doesnt want to get too far ahead of himself. While qualifying for a major or two and showing well would go a long way in his quest to stay on tour, its a long way to the end of the season and there are many obstacles along the way.
 
Unless he goes on a tear, playing in the Fall Series, once called the Quest for the Card, is a sure thing, but thats something Mills doesnt mind after playing into November on the Nationwide Tour.
 
To prepare for that stretch run, he is working regularly on his fitness with Craig Davies of Chiro Training International. Davies is on the road frequently with Mills, who admits he needs motivation in that department, but he says he is already seeing results from Davies program.
 
His results on tour are starting to pay dividends too, but just like the beginning of a fitness program, the ultimate reward of keeping his card takes time.
 
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Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: