MTSU golfer eyes another top-20 finish this week

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:19am
Staff reports

Three years after finishing 18th, Middle Tennessee State senior Jason Millard will once again compete in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship this week, eyeing another top-20 finish.

Millard, the top-seeded individual in the field, tees off at 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday at the three-round national tournament in Stillwater, Okla.

The Murfreesboro native is the lone Blue Raider at the event. Millard last reached the tournament in 2008, when MTSU qualified as a team. He earned freshman All-American honors and became the first MTSU golfer to achieve All-American recognition since 1968.

This season, Millard has been one of the most consistent golfers in the country. His stroke average of 70.6 per round ranks fourth in the nation. He has finished in the top five of tournaments eight times, including claiming an individual championship at the Mobile (Ala.) Bay Intercollegiate in February. There he set a school record with a low round of 63. In all 12 of his tournaments this season — which began in September — he has carded at least one round in the 60s.

“To put it together week in and week out over that long of a period of a time is very difficult to do,” MTSU coach Whit Turnbow said. “But he has stayed the course all year, and he has come ready to play every week."

Last week, the Riverdale High grad qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, which will be held from June 27 to July 2 in Brandon, Ore.

Millard is ranked 50th in the World Amateur Golf rankings and will compete at the World University Games in August in China.

“We are so proud of what he has accomplished,” Turnbow said. “We’re proud that obviously he has gotten to stay home and represent the local university. We're looking forward to a special week in Stillwater.”