Back to school

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

It's a path Rob McMillan has been down before.

Only this time, the professional golfer from Winnipeg hopes the final destination is the PGA Tour.

McMillan, the Pine Ridge product, is gearing up for the rigours of PGA Tour qualifying school.

The first of three gruelling stages is slated for mid-October.

"Often I've gone to Athens, Ga., but that's not an option this year," said McMillan, who plans to go to Florence, S.C. for the first stage. "I always go by a course that suits your game. A lot of players play better on certain grass types as well.

"The biggest thing is that Q-School is a bit of a different mindset because you don't have to play unbelievable, you just have to play steady. You know what it takes and what it doesn't take and you know what to expect. You try to handle that as best you can. Being to the finals twice, I know what it's like to be there and what it's like to advance, so that's a positive."

The Canadian Tour season officially came to an end two weekends ago as McMillan tied for 23rd at the Canadian Tour Championship in Barrie, Ont.

As far as results go, this was a disappointing campaign for McMillan, who finished 51st on the Rolex money list with $8,389.

"I didn't play as well as I'd have liked obviously," said McMillan. "I just never really got it going or put anything together. Earlier in the year I didn't putt that well and that cost me and later in the year I started to putt half-decent but I didn't hit the ball as well.

"I wish I could have played better but it wasn't far off. It's not like I was awful. It's a fine line and I was always on the other side of the fine line unfortunately."

Through it all, McMillan remained consistent -- rarely ballooning his score but also seldom going really low.

"I didn't have enough rounds where I shot 5 or 6 under par and if you're going to win golf tournaments you have to do that," said McMillan. "On those days when you shoot 74 or 75, if you can turn those into 71 or 72 -- those are the days that cost you, when you get lapped by the rest of the field."

Though he would have liked to put a little more money into his bank account and come through with some higher finishes, McMillan remains confident he can pull things together.

"The one positive I can take out of it was that I was really close to being good," said McMillan. "It wasn't like I never had it or struggled all year. I did a lot of things well. I just couldn't make the key putt at the right time or get the big break to keep the momentum going. I never had that."

The bulk of his time during the next couple weeks will be spent on practice, though McMillan plans to play in a Great Lakes Tour event in Toronto to help keep him sharp.

"It's kind of a tough time of the year," said McMillan. "Q-School is coming up but there's not a whole lot (of tournaments) to play in so you have to kind of pick your spots."

ON TAP: Glendale Golf and Country Club will play host to the Canadian Men's Senior Amateur Championship next week, from Sept. 19 to 21.


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