2014 U.S. Open: Millard disqualified by self-imposed penalty

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

PINEHURST, N.C. – As practice rounds begin on Monday for the 2014 U.S. Open taking placed on Course No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, those following Jason Millard from Murfreesboro, Tenn., will not get the chance to watch him tee it up on the famed course during the 114th playing of the Championship.

Millard was disqualified on Saturday after reporting a self-imposed penalty in sectional qualifying.

“We commend Jason for bringing this matter to our attention,” said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee.

“At this time, we have no recourse but to disqualify him under the Rules of Golf and specifically Rule 34-1b.”

Millard, who qualified in Memphis, Tenn. after carding a pair of 68’s, was playing his third shot on the 18th hole of Colonial Country Club’s North Course, his 27th hole of the day, when the penalty occurred.

“I’m pretty sure I grounded my club in the bunker,” Millard said.

“I didn’t see anything for sure but I felt something and I saw a small indentation. It happened so fast, I really don’t know 100 percent but deep down, I believe I did. I couldn’t find peace about it. For five days, I practiced and I couldn’t get it off my mind.

“It’s heart-breaking but what I was feeling in my heart didn’t feel right,” continued Millard, who played in this year’s PGA Tour Honda Classic and was a two-time All-American at Middle Tennessee State University.

“It’s the right decision and I am sticking with it.”

Millard will be replaced by amateur Sam Love, of Trussville, Ala., the second alternate from the same qualifying site.

Love, who will compete in his first U.S. Open and recently completed his senior season at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), shot 68-69-137 at Colonial Country Club on June 2.