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Local golf standout, Millard, staying home

Riverdale product regarded as one of nation's best golfers

November 10, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - If Jason Millard appears to be the total package there is a pretty simple explanation. He is.

One of the best amateur golfers in the nation, Millard has signed a national letter-of-intent to play his collegiate golf at Middle Tennessee, according to Blue Raider Head Men's Golf Coach Johnny Moore.

The Riverdale High School standout, who was named The Daily News Journal Golfer of Year as a junior and earned a spot on the publication's All-Area Golf Team for a fourth straight year this week, is ranked No. 75 nationally by the American Junior Golf Association and he is regarded as the third-rated prep prospect by the Junior Golf Scoreboard.

In addition to his prowess on the links, Millard also is solid in the classroom as evidenced by a 3.58 GPA.

Middle Tennessee assistant golf coach Whit Turnbow was chiefly involved in the recruitment of Millard and says the rising star will make a smooth transition.

"I've know Jason and his family for many years and he comes from a great family," Turnbow said. "I believe that our recruiting base has to start right here in Murfreesboro and, believe me, we had schools trying to pull him everywhere. I was convinced he could make the transition to this level when I watched him shoot 62 (10-under) at Clarksville Country Club, and then a few days later he shot 63 (9-under) at the Cookeville County Club. He also had a 3.58 GPA so when you couple that with his talent level, he is exactly the kind of student-athlete we want at Middle Tennessee."

Millard's credentials are impeccable. He finished his high school career with a fourth-place finish in the TSSAA Class AAA State Golf Tournament and tied for low medallist in the Region 4-AAA Tournament in October. He had two Top 10 finishes at the state tournament during his prep career and was a three-time All-State selection.

The heralded player owned a remarkable 69.8 stroke average during his senior season at Riverdale. In 15 events spanning the country this summer Millard finished in the Top 10 a eye-popping 11 times. His summer was highlighted by wins at the Craig Rudolph Memorial (9-under) and the Signal Mountain National Junior 6-under 210. He also fashioned a pair of AJGA Top 10s, tying for sixth at the AJGA Junior at Trump National and a fourth-place tie at the AJGA Junior at Olde Stone.

"It's nice to be able to keep a player like Jason Millard at home and it was not a given he was going to stay at home," Moore said. "Whit Turnbow worked really hard recruiting him. I like his work ethic. He's not afraid to go low, get down there and stay down there when the pressure is on. He's become bigger and stronger through his high school career. He's going to be a strong golfer for us."

Riverdale coach Brandon Burks, whose team won two District 7-AAA titles during Millard's prep career, said Middle Tennessee's recruitment was key in the prized recruit's decision.

"I know every time we turned around someone from Middle Tennessee was there when they were allowed to be," Burks said. "They did a great job staying on top of him. He was undecided but the job they did made the difference. He's going to be a good player for Middle Tennessee. He has always had complete control of his golf swing, even when he wasn't playing well for a hole or something. He overcomes mistakes and always finishes strong, especially this year. He's an excellent player."

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