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.