July 1, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson junior Corbin Mills defeated Harris English of Thomasville, GA and the University of Georgia 5 & 3 on Friday afternoon to advance to the final match of the 2011 United States Public Links Championship.
Mills will play Derek Ernst of Clovis, CA and UNLV on Saturday in the 36-hole final at the Old Macdonald Course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, OR. The championship match will air live on the Golf Channel at 4:00 PM.
Mills has now won five matches at the 2011 Public Links, the first match play tournament of his young golf career. He has won two matches each of the last two days to reach the final. Earlier on Friday he defeated Andrew Vijarro of Bend, OR and the University of Oregon golf team, 4&3. Mills lost just two holes all day and has now won 29 holes and lost just 11 in his five matches. At one point on Friday, Mills went 30 consecutive holes without losing. He has had to play the full 18 holes just once.
Mills won the 36-hole qualifier for the Public Links. If he wins the match play on Saturday he would join former Tiger D.J. Trahan as the only players to win the stroke play qualifier and the match play in the same year since 1995. Mills is also hoping to join Kevin Johnson (1987) and Trahan (2000) as US Public Links Champions. The winner of the US Public Links typically receives an invitation to The Masters.
For the fourth time in his five matches, Mills took the lead within the first three holes of the match. He won three of the first five holes with pars, one a par three, one a par four and one a par five. Mills did not lose a hole until the eighth hole, marking the first time in 30 holes he suffered a loss.
But, he came right back on the ninth hole to score a birdie three to go back up by three holes. English, a four-time All-American at Georgia, won the 11th hole to cut the margin to two holes, but Mills then won three of the next four to win the match easily. Mills won seven holes and lost just two in the match. He won four of the holes with pars and three with birdies.
“Today the wind was incredible,” said Mills “You had to worry about it on four foot putts. I have never played in wind like that before. They say the wind blows the most when it is a sunny day and that was the case today.
“I had the same game plan as previously, just get the ball in the fairway and make some pars. This course is so tough that par will win a lot of holes. That was the case this afternoon, the first three holes that I won, I won with pars.
“My ball striking was good today and that was important in this wind. My putting was steady also.
“I have done a good job of not looking ahead this entire tournament and I am going to continue that strategy. Tomorrow is another match, a 36-hole match, which I have never done before, but I had never played any match play before this week. I am just going to concentrate on each hole one at a time.”
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