Mills Looking To Future After Year To Remember

By Marty HenwoodMarch 25, 2002, 5:00 pm
Scottsdale, Ariz. -- If Jon Mills has set any timetable for his future, its a safe bet he is ahead of schedule.
The Canadian Tour rookie, who turned 24 earlier this month, seems destined to follow in the footsteps of Dave Barr, Richard Zokol, Mike Weir and Ian Leggatt as Canadians who have used the Tour as a springboard to the PGA Tour. It's a question of when and not if. Mills added to what has already been a memorable past year when he finished tied for ninth at last weeks Texas Challenge in Austin.
Being able to play well at this level has helped the confidence, stresses Mills, who will be in the starting field when the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch gets under way Thursday in the Phoeniz area. It shows that I can compete here. When you come into the pro ranks, you want to prove that right away, and I think Ive handled it well.
Mills ascent towards a berth on the worlds elite Tour has been quite impressive, to say the least. Just a couple of months after snaring a Canadian Tour card at Fall Qualifying School in September, the former NCAA First Team All-American (Kent State) carried that momentum into PGA Tour Q-School, where he advanced to the final stage and earned a conditional Buy.Com Tour card for this campaign.
Yeah, it has been quite a year for me, he adds. You have to adapt to the differences between amateur and pro, and that can be tough. The travel, the crowds, caddies . all of it can be tough for the new guys coming in. Anyone who follows this Tour knows how talented these guys are, and youve got to go out there and get some low scores under your belt. Its a whole new level of game.
Mills has things he wants to prove to himself but, as his amateur days show, he has made believers of a lot of people already. A sixth-place showing at the NCAA Nationals, as well as a 14th-place amateur ranking by Golfweek Magazine, will raise eyebrows in a hurry. Once the two Scottsdale events are in the books, Mills will likely try to get in some Buy.Com events, but he refuses to put too much pressure on himself.
I wont set any expectations for myself, at least not right now. All I can do is go out and play my best, and let everything else take care of itself. As the season goes on, well sit down and talk about goals.
Coming up through the ranks with the top young stars in this country has given Mills an added boost. Derek Gillespie, David Hearn, Eddie Maunder, Jonn Drewery and Gord Chilton are just a few of the current Tour members who have been with Mills every step of the way. In fact, Mills and Hearn are traveling together early in this Canadians Tour season. Close friends on and off the course, the duo have had amateur careers that have closely paralleled one another. Hearn, a teammate of Mills on the 2001 Canadian Four Nations Cup squad, lit up Circle C Ranch early last week, and carried a three-shot cushion into the weekend before eventually settling for a tie for 47th.
Obviously, David and I talk quite a bit, and last weekend was a learning curve for him. He is still a young guy (22) with his best years ahead of him. We had a good chat after Austin, and you can see the confidence in his eyes. But being around all those guys makes a big difference. It makes you comfortable to be in such a relaxing environment with guys you are familiar with. We play against each other on the course, but were all close and we root for each other.
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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.