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News / Sports / Prep Sports

All-Region boys golf: Grady Millar, Mountain View

Team aspect of golf appeals to Mountain View junior

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: May 25, 2024, 6:05am
3 Photos
Grady Millar of Mountain View tees off on the No. 18 hole at Heron Lakes Golf Club Great Blue course at the Class 3A boys golf district tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.
Grady Millar of Mountain View tees off on the No. 18 hole at Heron Lakes Golf Club Great Blue course at the Class 3A boys golf district tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A subtle fist pump was the only difference.

Otherwise, Grady Millar’s mood did not budge as he went through both golf’s frustration and elation.

Golf can humble even its best players, as the 14th hole did to Millar last Wednesday at the Class 3A state championships in Lacey.

Yet two holes after carding that double bogie, the Mountain View junior rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th hole at The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie.

The clenching of his fist as the ball rolled into the cup was a modest gesture compared to the significance of the shot. Mountain View went on to win its first boys golf team championship by one shot over Roosevelt of Seattle.

According to longtime Mountain View coach James Peterson, that unflappability is what makes Millar a special golfer.

“He’s extremely competitive, but outwardly he’s extremely calm,” Peterson said. “A lot of golfers are extremely emotional. You saw it out here, a lot of guys let their emotions get the best of them. He gets happy. He gets pissed like anyone does. But he never lets it outwardly come out.”

Millar’s high school career has had more celebration than frustration. The University of Washington commit wrapped up his third consecutive individual district championship last fall and was named the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League boys golfer of the year for a third time.

For his accomplishments, Millar is The Columbian’s All-Region boys golfer of the year.

After taking up the sport at 3 years old, Millar compiled an impressive record at amateur tournaments. That included a second-place finish at the 2022 Pacific Northwest PGA Junior Championship and several top-10 finishes a junior events across the country.

Millar’s calmness and confidence comes from countless hours working on his craft.

“I play this game every day and I know how good I am,” Millar said. “I just go off that confidence I have from playing the game every day.”

For as much as golf can be about the individual, Millar relishes the team element of high school competition. For as little emotion he showed on the course, Millar donned a wide grin after Mountain View secured its state championship.

In fact, Millar loves the higher stakes of playing for more than himself.

“The pressure aspect, your teammates are relying on you when you’re going down the stretch,” he said. “I think that’s a big part of team golf.”

Millar’s length off the tee and ball-striking are already elite. Yet he knows a good short game is vital to succeed in the higher levels of collegiate and amateur golf.

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“On an average practice day I practice 75 percent of the time inside of 150 yards,” he said. “Hitting those wedge shots consistently, getting the yardages down and practicing them everyday for the last year has me going really good.”

Not that you’d be able to tell how good it’s going by Millar’s mood alone.

“His dedication to keeping his head, even when things aren’t going his way, sets him apart,” Peterson said. “His bad golf days are anybody else’s best days.”

ALL-REGION TEAM

Boys golfer of the year: Grady Millar, jr., Mountain View

The other members of the All-Region boys golf team:

Mason Acker, Washougal: The junior was a 2A GSHL first-team pick, placed sixth at district and placed eighth at the 2A state tournament.

Jack Kendrick, Columbia River: Kendrick was the 2A GSHL player of the year, won the district title by eight shots and placed seventh at the 2A state tournament.

Trenton Maddox, Washougal: Sophomore placed seventh at the 2A district tournament and was the highest local finisher at state, placing sixth.

Spencer Moody, Mountain View: The junior placed third at the 3A district tournament, third at bi-district and 13th at the state tournament.

Jacob Parker, Seton Catholic: The junior was the 1A District 4 champion, winning by four shots, and placed third at the 1A state tournament.

Alex Rigby, Mountain View: The junior was the 3A district runner-up, placed fifth at bi-district and eighth at state for the 3A state champions.

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