Jennifer Mills Chat Transcript
tgc-com- Our Live Chat with Jennifer Mills will begin in about 5 minutes.
tgc-com -Please feel free to post your questions...we will get started in just a few minutes.
tgc-com -Thank you all for joining us today. Let's get started with our chat. Jennifer, thanks for joining us!
J_Mills - First,let me say I was a little nervous about doing my first chat, until all my friends reminded me that I have never had a problem chatting. I'm glad to be here.
mike-van - hi Jennifer
mike-van - What is the best part of your job?
J_Mills - The travel, the people, the great sport and the excitement Tiger Woods has brought to the game.
Sanju - How often do you actually get out to play some golf with other TGC staff?
J_Mills - I try to avoid it all costs. But when I must (ha ha)...we play periodically. I have an outside circle of golfing buddies I play regularly with.
Sanju- Hey Jennifer! Are you guys having a big going away bash for Scotty? It's sure not going to be the same without him...
J_Mills - I don't know the party plans, but Scott and his unique sense of humor will certainly be missed. He leaves the best voicemails in town. I hope I get some after he leaves (hint hint).
CMat- When you play, do you often get recognised or approached by viewers?
J_Mills- Yes, and I hope they look away before I swing.
mike-van- Who is your favorite player?
J_Mills- I have several. At the top of the list would be Ernie Els and Nick Price.
mike-van- Where is Scott Van Pelt going?
tgc-com- Scott is talking a job with ESPN...he will be their lead golf guy!!
GolfingD- How would you compare Tiger's great year to that of Byron Nelson's when he won 18 tournament, I think
J_Mills- It's hard to beat an 18-win...including 11 in a row season. I would have to give 1945 the edge, but what Tiger has done and continues to do will likely never be matched again.
Sanju- And pics of you floating around from when you were homecoming queen??
J_Mills- Yes, and the big hair is definitely OUT!
mike-van- What is your handicap?
J_Mills- I play to a 12 and have broken 80 twice. I will spend the holidays working on the game and enjoying the good Florida weather.
GolfingD- Sure is funny how much money is being played for in the so-called silly season, Tiger's tournament $1,000,000.00 and the one Els won $2,000,000.00 many players yearly earning or better
J_Mills- It certainly pays to be among the elite in professional golf. I guess they've earned the right to play for this kind of money. Frankly, I'm happy to see golf finally catch up with other sports in the 'pay' department.
Sanju- What's a typical day (if there is such a thing) like for you?
J_Mills- That's a good question, because there rarely is a typical day. We begin the day with a noon production meeting to determine the show content and order. From that point on, my day includes researching, writing, voicing and interviewing. That would be a normal studio day.
J_Mills- When I am at an event, I follow the story of the day. At days end, we always interview the leaders, so the day typically ends at sundown.
mike-van- How many years have you been in journalism?
J_Mills- 16 years. I began as a sports photographer at an NBC affiliate in North Carolina while attending Wake Forest. From there, I began reporting. Later, anchored news and travel and entertainment programs.
Hawkeye- What was the biggest story on the LPGA this year?
J_Mills -Karrie Webb gets the nod from me.
Sanju- do you have any kids...and do they tarvel with you?
J_Mills - Yes. I have two. Both traveled with me when they were small. Now, we juggle school and PGA Tour schedules. I take them with me as often as I can.
mike-van -Are you a member of a club?
J_Mills- Yes...Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando.
J_Mills- Payne Stewart used to play there the Monday before the US Open because he said if he could keep it in the fairways at OTGC, he could keep it in the fairways at the Open. Great course in great shape.
Sanju- What kind of equipment do you use (clubs, ball, ball-retriever (!)...)?
J_Mills- I use a Taylor Made driver, Titleist 981 irons and a putter my dad gave me 25 years ago...still trying to get it to work!
THE-DUCK- Hello Jennifer. If you could change one thing in golf, what would it be?
J_Mills- I would make sure that ladies can play golf whenever, wherever you want!
Sanju- Has pay for Golf Reporters benefitted from Golf's increasing popularity. Certainly the perks must be good...
J_Mills- The perks are great, when you consider that my 'office' is some of the best golf courses in the world, and I have a front row seat to each event.
Sanju -Does Brian Hammons keep it in the short grass himself?!
J_Mills -Rarely. But he'll be the first to tell you he hits it a mile. In fact, he's playing today in a fundraiser at Isleworth to benefit the school in which Payne Stewart's children attend.
GolfingD -Of the all players you have seen this year, who has the best chance of giving Tiger a real run
J_Mills- Ernie Els, a healthy David Duval, Phil Mickelson and anybody else who can shoot 56 on Sunday.
CMat- It seems everyone has formed an opinion about Tiger and the PGA. Do you have any views one way or the other?
J_Mills- Tiger has had such a tremendous impact on golf revenue, ratings and popularity, he deserves to get some credit for this. However, even Tiger has made it clear he's not trying to take a piece of the television revenue pie, he just wants to make sure that his likeness and image aren't abused...
J_Mills- I understand his concerns and his desire to keep the lid on what might get out of hand. Interesting that both Arnold and Jack have commented that the issue is no different than what they faced in their day, it's just there's more media attention today.
tgc-com -Thanks for joining us today to chat with Jennifer Mills. Keep those questions coming!!
slam- How often do you get to play jen?
J_Mills- When I'm on the road covering a tournament, usually 2-3 times a week. When I'm home, I play perhaps once a week but hit balls 3-4 days a week.
cruzmsle- Jennifer when you interviewed Matt Damon did you sense that he was truly hooked on golf or he was putting up a front for the movie.
J_Mills- He definitely is interested in the game, but not nearly as much as his colleague, my friend Will Smith. Will is absolutely hooked. In fact, during filming, Redford had to give Will a beeper so he could find him because he was off playing golf when it wasn't his part being filmed.
GolfingD- It seemed that last year David just couldn't get the competive juices really flowing, maybe it was health, but sure looked mental. Any takes????
J_Mills -From talking to David, I think he was in more pain than he let on. He is the ultimate competitor and puts a lot of pressure on himself to be the best at what he does.
Sanju -Do you sometimes feel like a 'star' when you are out and about? I mean with all the attention?
J_Mills -I paused because I'm not sure how to answer this one...
J_Mills- I'm flattered you think I'm a 'star', but I'm just like anybody else, I just happen to have a job that takes place in front of 30 million people.
slam -Are you getting hooked on hollywood premieres?
J_Mills- I used to cover quite a bit during my days in entertainment and travel television and as host of PM Magazine. I prefer golf my a long shot, although I was pumped to meet Robert Redford in person and my mother's jealous...
Sanju- Is TGC staff a close knit group? Seems like it would be a great place to work.
J_Mills -It is a great place to work! Many of us have been together since day one back in January 1995 and have become quite close. We are like a family.
Hawkeye- It was nice to see Lorie Kane break through. As many have said once she won once-look out!
J_Mills- It was the dam-breaking scenario. You knew once she won, it would be overwhelming. Lori is one of the nicest, most positive people you will ever meet. Aside from being impressed with her game, I was more impressed with the way she dealt with all the attention finishing runner-up again and again. The smile she learned as a synchronized swimmer growing up came in handy.
slam- We have seen Eldrick suffer some losses lately, but not by someone playing in his last group. Do you think he is that much harder to play head to head than most?
J_Mills- Players will tell you they prefer being one group away...in the hunt but not in spotlight. If you take a look at the Sunday scores of those who have beaten Tiger in the last 4-5 weeks, there have been some remarkable Sunday numbers (i.e. Waldorf's 62...Davis Love's 64), so players are stepping up.
tgc-com- Thanks for stopping by our chat with Jennifer Mills. We''ve got about 10 minutes left before Jennifer has to get back to her real job!
THE-DUCK- Wow! Do you really feel that discrimination, towards women, is still a major problem in our country? Also, did you vote in our National Election?
J_Mills- Yes, I was one of Florida's absentee ballots. As for the women and tee times issue, I was somewhat joking but I can't tell you how angry I get when someone tells me I can't play because it's 'Sunday morning before Noon', etc.
Sanju- I followed Charles Howell III around for an entire round at the Candian Open...solid player. What are your impressions of him?
J_Mills- Great player, will be a factor in the future, I think. Good disposition, temperament and work ethic. The 2000 Haskins Award winner will do well in the future, in my opinion.
monte -My favorite player is Nick Faldo. Have you ever interviewed him and what type of person is he?
J_Mills- Nick has a wonderful wit that often goes unnoticed or is misunderstood. I want so much for him to ressurect the game he once knew and still has.
Sanju- What's Tom (Nettles) like?
J_Mills- In a word: unique. 'T-Net' is one of the hardest workers you will find. He also has the messiest desk you will ever see in the history of the world.
slam- What are your interests away form the course other than golf?
J_Mills -I play competitive tennis and am a passionate gardener, but my pride and joy are my two kids.
red -is there anyone (pro) that you would like to interview??? why?
J_Mills -I would love to have had an opportunity to interview Bobby Jones. I don't know if you've ever seen his 'lessons' on TNT, but it's some of the best viewing around.
tgc-com -We've got about 5 minutes more...if you have any comments on TGC.com Live Chats please e-mail us at email@example.com!
Sanju- Thanks for chatting Jennifer. This is one of the coolest features of TGC, by far. Have a great holiday (if you get one!).
tgwfu- Just wanted to say hello. I knew you at wafe forest. Glad to see you are doing so well. You do a great job on the show
J_Mills- Thanks. Go DEACS!
Sanju- Have you played much golf outside the U.S.? Any favourites?
J_Mills- Yes. I have played quite a bit in Ireland and am a huge fan of Irish Links golf. I spent two weeks with my family in Scotland this past summer and discovered a real gem in Royal Dornoch, Donald Ross' home course. It is now on my list of favorite courses, along with Royal County Down in N. Ireland and East Lake in Atlanta.
GolfingD- Do you think the controvesies surrounding Tiger and the PGA at the years end may have effected his concentration and winning down the stretch.
J_Mills- No. I think that playing 8 events in a row has had an impact on Tiger. Also, if you look at his level of play this summer, you know there is no way that even Tiger could sustain that kind of perfection indefinitely.
THE-DUCK- Nest time you're in the Williamsburgh area try Royal New Kent. It is the best Irish Links course in the country. You'll love it!!!!
J_Mills- Thanks for the tip!
tgwfu- Jennifer. just wanted to know if you get to go back to any Wake football games?
J_Mills - Sometimes for homecoming, which this year was a good one.
tgc-com- That's all we have time for today...Thanks Jennifer and thanks to all of you.
J_Mills- Thanks, this was fun! See you tonight at 7:30pm ET!
Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday
Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.
European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.
Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.
Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.
Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.
Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.
Austin wins Champions tour's playoff opener
RICHMOND, Va. -- Woody Austin knew Bernhard Langer was lurking throughout the final nine holes, and he did just enough to hold him off.
Austin shot a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
Langer, the defending tournament champion and series points leader, made the turn one shot off the lead, but eight straight pars kept him from ever gaining a share of the lead. Austin's birdie from 6 feet on the closing hole allowed him to hang on for the victory.
''It seemed like he couldn't quite get it over the hump,'' Austin said about Langer, who also birdied No. 18. ''I'm not going to feel bad for the guy. The guy's kind of had things go his way for the last 12 years. Now he sees what it's like to have it happen.''
The 54-year-old Austin finished with an 11-under total for three rounds at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. He won his fourth senior title and first since 2016, and said windy and cool conditions that made scoring difficult played to his advantage.
''I was happy to see it. I really enjoy a difficult test,'' he said. ''... I enjoy even par meaning something. That's my game.''
Langer closed with a 70. The winner last week in North Carolina, the 61-year-old German star made consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, but had several birdie putts slide by on the back.
''I made a couple important ones and then I missed a couple important ones, especially the one on 16,'' Langer said. ''I hit three really good shots and had about a 6-footer, something like that, and I just didn't hit it hard enough. It broke away.''
Austin dropped a stroke behind Jay Haas and Stephen Ames with a bogey on the par-3 14th. He got that back with a birdie from about 5 feet on the par-4 15th and then got some good fortune on the final hole when his firmly struck chip hit the flag and stopped about 6 feet away.
''I always say usually the person that wins gets a break on Sunday,'' he said. ''That was my break.''
The 64-year-old Haas, the second-round leader after a 65, had a 74 to tie for third with Fran Quinn (69) and Kent Jones (70) at 9 under. Haas was bidding to become the oldest winner in the history of the tour for players 50 and older.
''Disappointed, for sure,'' Haas said. ''Not going to get many more opportunities like this, but it gives me hope, too, that I can still do it.''
The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 move on to the Invesco QQQ Championship next week in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
After Further Review: American success stories
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the global nature of Koepka's rise to No. 1 ...
Brooks Koepka is an American superstar, and a two-time winner of his national open. But his rise to world No. 1 in, of all places, South Korea, emphasizes the circuitous, global path he took to the top.
After winning the CJ Cup by four shots, Koepka was quick to remind reporters that he made his first-ever start as a pro in Switzerland back in 2012. He cracked the top 500 for the first time with a win in Spain, and he broke into the top 100 after a good week in the Netherlands.
Koepka languished on the developmental Challenge Tour for a year before earning a promotion to the European Tour, and he didn’t make a splash in the States until contending at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
It’s a testament to Koepka’s adaptability and raw talent that he can handle the heights of Crans-Montana as well as the slopes of Shinnecock Hills or rough of Nine Bridges. And as the scene shifts to China next week, it highlights the global nature of today’s game – and the fact that the best in the world can rise to the occasion on any continent. - Will Gray
On the resurgence of American women ...
American women are on a nice roll again. Danielle Kang’s victory Sunday at the Buick LPGA Shanghai was the third by an American over the last five events. Plus, Annie Park and Marina Alex, emerging American talents looking for their second victories this season, tied for second. So did American Brittany Altomare. Two years ago, Americans won just twice, their fewest victories in a single season in LPGA history. Overall, women from the United States have won seven times this season.
The Americans are making their move with Stacy Lewis on maternity leave and with Lexi Thompson, the highest ranked American in the world, still looking for her first victory this year. Yes, the South Koreans have won nine times this season, but with four LPGA events remaining in 2018 the Americans actually have a chance to be the winningest nation in women’s golf this year. With all the grief they’ve received the last few years, that would be a significant feat. - Randall Mell
In Buick win, Kang overcame demons of mind and spirit
Danielle Kang beat three of the most formidable foes in golf Sunday to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai.
Kang overcame these demons of mind and spirit to win for the second time on tour, backing up her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory last year.
“I’ve been going through a lot mentally,” Kang said.
Kang birdied four of the last eight holes to close with a 3-under-par 69, coming from one shot back in the final round to win. At 13-under 275, she finished two shots ahead of a pack of seven players, including world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and former world No. 1 Lydia Ko (66).
It hasn’t been easy for Kang trying to build on her major championship breakthrough last year. She started the fall Asian swing having missed three cuts in a row, five in her last six starts.
“I had to go through swing changes,” Kang said. “I had the swing yips, the putting yips, everything possibly you could think of.
“I was able to get over a lot of anxiety I was feeling when I was trying to hit a golf ball. This week I just kept trusting my golf game.”
Through her swoon, Kang said she was struggling to get the club back, that she was getting mentally stuck to where she could not begin her takeaway. She sought out Butch Harmon, back at her Las Vegas home, for help. She said tying for third at the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week felt like a victory, though she was still battling her demons there.
“Anxiety over tee balls,” Kang said. “People might wonder what I'm doing. I actually can't pull the trigger. It has nothing to do with the result. Having to get over that last week was incredible for me. Even on the first round, one shot took me, I think, four minutes.”
Kang, who turned 26 on Saturday, broke through to win last year under swing coach David Leadbetter, but she began working with Harmon while struggling in the second half this year.
“I was actually very frustrated, even yesterday,” Kang said. “Things just weren't going my way. The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn't do that. If I had a short putt, I just kept doubting myself. I couldn't putt freely.”
Kang said her anger and frustration built up again on the front nine Sunday. She made the turn at 1 over for the round. She said her caddie, Oliver Brett, helped her exorcise some anger. After the ninth hole, he pulled her aside.
This is how Kang remembered the conversation:
Brett: “Whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now.”
Kang: “Cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard.”
Brett: “Here's a wedge. Just smash it.”
“Honestly, I thank him for that,” Kang said. “He told me there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped, and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things changed and momentum started going my way. I started hitting it closer and felt better over the putts.”
Kang said the victory was all about finding a better place mentally.
“I'm just so happy to be where I'm at today,” Kang said. “I'm just happy that I won.
“More so than anything, I'm finally at a place where I'm peaceful and happy with my game, with my life . . . . I hope I win more. I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.”