Mills Starting to Make a Move

Oshawa’s Jon Mills may not have had the Sunday he was hoping for, but he did finish 20th, making it the second straight strong finish and pushing him towards the magic number of 115 that he’ll need to retain his card at the end of the year.

So far Mills has made six of nine cuts, and $207,000, good enough to put him 116th on the money list. As you all know, the top 125 retain their cards. This is intriguing, of course, because of all the debate on this site late last year over a Mills comment that indicated to some that he felt it wasn’t that big a jump from dominating the Nationwide Tour to sticking on the PGA Tour.

Mills may not have made a breakthrough yet, but he has passed a milestone — he’s made more money this year than he did in 2006 when he played the PGA Tour for an entire season without much success (CP story).

“The more events I play, the more people I play with, the more I feel that,” he said from New Orleans, where he’s entered in the Zurich Classic. “And you have to feel comfortable if you’re going to be successful on this tour.”

Having more familiarity with the golf courses is not that only thing the 30-year-old has found comforting this year. Mills has been playing professionally for the past five years and has enjoyed seeing more and more familiar faces at events.

“There’s so many guys out here that I’ve played with on Nationwide and when you see those guys have success, you just kind of keep feeding off that,” he said.

Now that he’s playing well, Mills’ next problem may be getting into events — especially those after the Masters:

He’s still relatively low on the tour’s entry list and might not be able to get into the field for any of the four events that come after the Masters.

“It’s going to be a real tough stretch to get in,” said Mills. “It doesn’t matter how good you’re playing, those events are tough to get into when you have conditional status.

“I’ll try to get some exemptions into those but we’ll see how it goes.”

We’ll see how that turns out — right now Mills’ putting looks a little questionable and he’ll struggle to retain his card ranked 143rd with the flat stick.


In other news, the worst kept secret in Canadian golf will be officially announced this week, with Mike Weir making a return to the Telus Skins Game.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Good for Jon and glad he is making progress. But put this progress in context:

    – The two most recent events where he finished in the top 20 were weak fields…the PGA event opposite the WGC at Doral where all the top pros were playing and then last week;
    – Events he played earlier in the year were generally stronger fields where he missed cuts in the Hope, Honda, and PODS and of the remaining events, he made ~$52K combined;
    – His performance to date demonstrates what he did last year – performed well on the Nationwide / weaker PGA events but still struggles in the Big Show.

    I hope his progress continues and he makes it. However, the slowness of his progress agains reaffirms that the leap to the PGA tour is significant.

  • My bad — not enough coffee this morning. I was thinking of the European Tour, which is Top 115. Boyd is right — PGA Tour is, of course, 125.

  • Actually, I live in Vancouver so the answer is generally yes! But Sham, dummy up. Re-read my post…and comment on my content rather than taking pot shots at me based on your perception of whether I am a half full or half empty glass person.

    Let’s deal in reality…the reality of what it takes for a young man to conquer a difficult climb to success on the PGA Tour – that being inner confidence, belief in his skills, a little luck, and an unwavering commitment and focus on the end goal…all the while understanding and realizing the very difficult challenge he has facing him…and owning up to the latter when dealing with the public when perceptions are made based on what he says to the media.

  • W/E

    Not necessarily a pot-shot, just an observation. You’re still stuck on a single sentence that came out of Jon’s mouth and was blown more out of proportion than Britney Spear’s latest trip to the drug store!

    He didn’t predict he was going to win the Masters.

    Mike Weir owns a Green Jacket, yet people still criticize his work ethic and question his commitment. Those same people rally around Mike when he’s doing well…. it’s a “what have you done for me lately?” mentality.

    I’m going to let Jon do his job, continue to support all of our homegrown professionals and I’ll revisit Jon’s “Leap” when the season’s over.

    Take it for what it is…..

    “There’s so many guys out here that I’ve played with on Nationwide and when you see those guys have success, you just kind of keep feeding off that,” he said.

  • I am interested to see how Jon continues to perform on the PGA tour this year. He uttered that one sentence that continues to haunt him…that the leap to the PGA tour is not that big. This is his second go round and as of the half way mark or thereabouts, he remains around the cutoff line to keep his card (low 130s on the money list).

    I hope he makes it. Performance to date indicates that the leap is certainly bigger than he initially thought. I hope he continues to work hard and work smart and that it will pay off with stronger performances in the second half of the year.

  • Seems like Jon has been working hard…38th at the US Open – seems to be one of his first strong performance against a top field. Good for Jon. Hopefully, this is the start of a run and he can put his earlier statements to rest.

  • Jon Mills – 138th on the money list with the FedEx Cup almost over. He’ll have to work to retain his card in the Fall Season. Seems like the leap to the PGA Tour is bigger than he thought.

    Here’s hoping he can feed off his successes this past year and continue to improve.

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