July 3 2012
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Former PGA TOUR winner Garrett Willis, Michael Maness, Jon Mills and Chris Wilson survived a six-man playoff in the Monday qualifier to earn their way into this week’s Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC.
Six golfers shot a 6-under 66 on the Cobb Course at Glade Springs, W. Va., to force the playoff. Ryan Blaum and Christopher Ross were the players eliminated.
Willis has played in seven events this year on the PGA TOUR, making three cuts. The 38-year-old East Tennessee State product who lives in Charlotte put his name in the PGA TOUR history books at the 2001 Touchstone Energy Tucson Open when he became only the third card-holding member to win in his first start, joining Ben Crenshaw (1973) and Robert Gamez (1990).
The last time Maness stepped onto a PGA TOUR course, it was as a caddie for his friend Bill Haas. The 31-year-old native of Greenville, S.C. has bounced back and forth from the bags to the mini-tours after playing collegiately at South Carolina. Maness has three career starts on the Web.com Tour, most recently tying for 16th at the 2007 National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic.
Mills, a 34-year-old native of Ontario, Canada and former golfer at Kent State, turned professional in 2002. By 2003, after just three events, Mills, who played more hockey than golf as a youth, became the first Canadian to win the Canadian Tour Order of Merit since Mike Weir in 1997.
Mills came close to winning his third Web.com Tour event a year ago with a runner-up finish at the Melwood Prince George's County Open Presented by Under Armour. This season he has one cut made in five starts on the Web.com Tour.
Chris Wilson, a 27-year-old Columbus, Ohio native who played golf at Northwestern, is looking at positives this week after a slow start in 2012 -- having made only two cuts in 11 starts on the Web.com Tour this year. He tied for 25th in March at the Panama Claro Championship, but his 66 in the qualifier is his lowest round of the year by two shots.