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john mills

‘Heartbreaking’: Tributes to worker killed in tragic PGA Championship accident

Tournament officials said they were devastated to learn John Mills had died in an accident close to Valhalla on the second day of the PGA Championship

 

Tributes have been paid to a worker who died in a “tragic” accident close to Valhalla at the PGA Championship.

Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg said John Mills was a “Louisvillian who will be greatly missed by his family and our community”.

The 69-year-old was with security and going to work when the accident happened.

Metropolitan Metro Police said they responded to a call at around 5am eastern time of a “vehicle collision involving a pedestrian and a bus”.

A statement continued: “Our preliminary investigation found that an adult male pedestrian was crossing Shelbyville Road south to north when he was struck by a shuttle bus that was traveling eastbound in the compulsory center lane dedicated for buses.

“As a result, the pedestrian received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. The LMPD Traffic Unit is investigating.”

The PGA of America said they were “devastated to learn that a worker with one of our vendors was tragically struck and killed by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club” – later naming him as Mr Mills.

John Mills tributes: “This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship”

“This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones.”

The governing body would add on Friday afternoon: “Our primary concern today remains with the family of John Mills, who lost his life in a tragic accident early this morning while reporting to work.”

Releasing a photo to the media, Mr Mills’ family said: “He was enjoying his time at Valhalla while working security. He liked to stay busy in retirement. We love him and will miss him.”

John Mills

In his message, Mayor Greenberg said: “This morning, our city experienced a tragic accident that took the life of John Mills, a Louisvillian who will be greatly missed by his family and our community.

“Our focus is on this family who lost their loved one. I have spoken with members of Mr Mills’ family to convey our city’s condolences.”

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said in his own statement: “This morning an incident occurred outside the PGA Championship that resulted in the heartbreaking death of a fellow Kentuckian.

“Our hearts are broken, and we continue to pray for the victim’s family. The events that occurred afterward are the unfortunate result of this tragic incident, and we are hopeful that all parties involved can come to a resolution.”

And Scottie Scheffler, who was arrested and detained after an incident with a police officer while travelling to the course but was not involved in the accident, said in his post round press conference: “First of all my sympathies go out to the family of Mr Mills. I can’t imagine what they’re going through this morning.

“One day, he’s heading to the golf course to watch a tournament. a few moments later he’s trying to cross the street and now he’s no longer with us. So I can’t can’t imagine what they’re going through. I feel for them.”

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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