WEST PALM BEACH - Jason Millard, a two-time All-American at MTSU who led the Blue Raiders to the NCAA National Championship in 2008, advanced through qualifying today to make the 144 player field at this week's PGA Tour Honda Classic. Millard played for the Blue Raiders from 2007 to 2011 after joining the program from Murfreesboro's Riverdale High School.
This year's Honda Classic, held at the PGA National Resort & Spa - Champion Course (Par 70; 7,110 Yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, will have the top eight ranked players in the world competing for the $6 million purse. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are among those in the field. The winner will take home $1,080,000.
"I am thrilled for Jason," MTSU golf coach Whit Turnbow said. "This is such a great opportunity for him and something he has worked for all his life. Getting through qualifying is difficult but he played a great round and is really at the top of his game right now. It should be a lot of fun."
Turnbow flew down to meet Millard Tuesday morning and will caddy for him Tuesday during his practice round. Fans can follow Turnbow this week on twitter at @CoachWTurnbow or pgatour.com.
Millard, who recently earned his card for the Web.com tour, fired a 63 Monday at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, FL. The top four players out of 106 in the 18-hole qualifier advanced to this week's PGA Tour Honda Classic. Millard's 63 was second behind a 62 from Troy Merritt.
Millard is the first Blue Raider to compete in a PGA Tour event since Mike Harmon in 1982. Harmon graduated from MTSU in 1978, earned his tour card in 1980, and played on tour until 1982. Harmon, whose first PGA event was the 1980 U.S. Open, is the Director of Golf at the Secession Golf Club in Beaufort, SC. Harmon currently works with former Blue Raider Kent Bulle and talks with Millard on a regular basis.
"This will be a thrill of a lifetime for Jason," said Harmon. "He will be in the locker room, on the putting green, and the driving range with the best players in the world and guys he grew up watching. I would tell him to go find one of those guys and ask them to play a practice round and just soak in everything you can. He will be out of his comfort zone but having Whit with him will be a great asset.
"Jason has unbelievable talent and a unique mentality to play the game. He just needs to put a big smile on and enjoy the moment."
Following is the television schedule for this week's event:
Thursday: 3:00-6:00 pm ET - The Golf Channel
Friday: 3:00-6:00 pm ET - The Golf Channel
Saturday: 1:00-3:00 pm ET - The Golf Channel
Saturday: 3:00-6:00 pm ET - NBC / Bear Trap Simulcast - The Golf Channel
Sunday: 1:00-3:00 pm ET - The Golf Channel
Sunday: 3:00-6:00 pm ET - NBC / Bear Trap Simulcast - The Golf Channel