MTSU's Millard nine strokes off pace after first round of NCAA Men’s Golf Championship

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 11:18pm
Staff reports

After one round at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, Middle Tennessee State’s Jason Millard is nine strokes behind the leader.

The senior from Murfreesboro bogeyed four of his last six holes to card a first-round score of 76 for 4-over par on Tuesday at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. Georgia Tech’s James White sits atop the leaderboard after shooting 5-under.

Millard, the No. 1 seed among six individuals, shot his highest score of the year and is in a tie for 75th.

“Jason did not have his best day but there’s a lot of golf left and I am very confident he will come back strong Wednesday,” MTSU coach Whit Turnbow said.

Millard will start the second round at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. He is playing in his second national tournament and first since 2008, when he finished 18th overall. He enters with a stroke average of 70.6 per round, which is the fourth-best mark in the nation.

After bogeying his first hole, Millard birdied the second and fourth holes. But he lost ground again when he bogeyed on the fifth and seven holes. He is one of 15 golfers who shot 4-over to start the three-round tournament.

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.

Last week, the Riverdale High grad qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, which will be held from June 27-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.