Mills loves ol' faithful

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

BRAGG CREEK -- It has been a staple in the golf bag since the early days.

But with the progression of technology and advent of the hybrid club, the 2-iron is slowly being retired from play.

However, Jon Mills isn't ready to give up on it just yet.

In fact, the Oshawa, Ont., native, who's in Calgary to compete in the Nationwide Tour's Alberta Classic this week, is prepared to give the No. 2 a workout at a tight Redwood Meadows track.

"For me, I hit a lot of 2-irons and on that course, I'll definitely be using that club a lot," said Mills, who ranks fifth on the Nationwide Tour's money list and driving distance chart.

Redwood Meadows, which requires accuracy first and distance second, is a test unlike many of the other courses on the Nationwide Tour circuit.

That said, just because Mills is going to keep his driver -- a club he has hit an average of 311.9 yards with this season -- in the bag more often this week, it doesn't mean he won't get the distance off the tee.

"On some holes, I can afford to hit a 2-iron into areas were some guys can't hit a 2-iron," explained Mills. "I can take less off the tee, which will hopefully add to my accuracy."

Mills is the only Canadian player in the top-20 money leaders on the Nationwide Tour this season. With his current dollar figures at $257,507 US, the former Kent State product is destined to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2006 season.

And rightly so. After four years on the PGA's developmental loop, Mills opened his season with a career-best second-place finish at the BellSouth Panama Championship.

Following that hot start, the Indiana, Pa., resident rattled off five top-five finishes in nine starts leading up to his first career victory at the Canadian PGA Championship this summer.

Since that time, Mills has carded three more top-10 finishes and is looking forward to competing back in Canada. Especially at Redwood Meadows.

"We haven't played enough of the old-style golf courses this year," he said. "We did (two weeks ago) in Rochester and everyone loved it. We play a lot of courses that you can just kind of get up and hit driver anywhere and at Redwood, you really have to think your way around.

"I'm looking forward to it and I imagine a lot of people are looking forward to it."

Despite a very complete season thus far, Mills said he has fought his swing at times.

"I'm swinging all right but I could be swinging a little better and I imagine I'll be working on that this week as well," he said.

"I don't mind that because it kind of keeps me focused and working on something, which is all right."

Mills and the rest of the 144-man field will begin first round action today, with the first groups teeing off at 8 a.m.


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