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Medalist Mills Wins U.S. Public Links


Corbin Mills of Easley, S.C., became the first qualifying medalist to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 11 years. The Clemson player joined fellow Clemson Tiger D.J. Trahan with that distinction. Trahan, now a regular on the PGA Tour, won the championship after being the low medalist in 2000.

Mills waged a back-and-forth match with UNLV's Derek Ernst Clovis, Calif., in the final. The two ended up tied after 36 holes and went to the 37th, the par-4 opener at the Old Macdonald course, which co-hosted the championship - played concurrently with the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links - with Bandon Trails at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on Oregon's southern coast.

On the first hole, Mills carded a par - while Ernst three-putted, to win the match.

For his victory, Mills will receive a 10-year APL exemption, exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateurs, a three-year exemption from local U.S. Open qualifying (provided he remains an amateur) and a likely invitation to the 2012 Masters Tournament.

Mills' hometown is just 150 minutes away from Augusta and though he's been there as a spectator, he relishes the opportunity to tee it up among the game's greats.

"It's always been kind of a dream," said Mills of playing in the Masters.