EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Former Stephen F. Austin golfer, Stetson McMillan, is on the verge of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
This would be huge for the 27-year-old's career as it would be his first PGA Tour event. Things seem to be heading in the right direction for McMillan, who said he's playing his best golf yet with one final qualifier to go.
"It would definitely be the greatest achievement I've had to date," said McMillan. "I think I'm ready for that. I've trained hard enough, I've worked hard enough, and it would definitely be fun."
He's halfway to his PGA Tour debut after he shot a 67 in the local qualifier for the U.S. Open in early May. He ended up tying for second out of an about 130 player field. It also helped when he finished with a 29 on the back nine with seven birdies.
"I made the turn and told me caddie Larry that I was going to shoot 30 on the back. I wasn't going to miss any putts.
"I was probably more excited than he was," said McMillan's caddie, Larry Nance. "He's one of the most level-headed golfers that I've ever met. He can make a double bogey or make an eagle, walk off the hole and you don't know what he made. He's one of those guys that goes out there and gives it his best."
Giving his best at any given opportunity is exactly what has gotten McMillan to this point in his young career, as he didn't even pick up the game until his sophomore year of high school.
"I really had to play catch up with all my competitors and did that fairly quickly," said McMillan. "When I first started, I was shooting low 80's, high 70's. Now, I'm pretty much going out there shooting low 70's high 60's."
"Stetson is a very, very motivated individual. He's probably got the hardest work ethic of any young man I've met. If he's not in the gym, he's on the golf course and vice versa," said Nance.
When he's not at the course or gym, he's trying to juggle his own pest control company. Without any sponsors, McMillan's business is what helps him make ends meet to pursue his golfing dream.
"I work just enough to pay for my golf, but it is expensive. It is very hard but I'm definitely in pursuit of a little bit of help and a sponsorship to be able to do this more full time," said McMillan. "I feel like once I can do it 100 percent full time, the sky's the limit. I'm ready. I'm there to make it to the highest level."
Since McMillan made it out of the local qualifier for the U.S. Open, his next hurdle is to make the cut for the sectional qualifier which will take place June 5th.