Friday, December 31, 2010

Thompson Named the #4 "Leading Sports Figure" in Southern AZ

The positive press keeps coming in as the year draws to a close. The latest article of interest comes from Greg Hansen at the Arizona Daily Star.

Michael, if you are reading this post - it is now time to stop. We don't want your head getting too big! For the rest of you, please continue...

In his annual list of "the Top 100 Leading Sports Figures in Southern Arizona", Michael Thompson finished in the #4 spot. Here's a brief excerpt:

"4. Michael Thompson. A Rincon/University grad, Thompson was the Hooters Tour Player of the Year, then trumped that by finishing tied for 16th at PGA Qualifying School, becoming fully exempt for the 2011 PGA Tour."

The whole article can be found over a the Arizona Daily Star website here: Greg Hansen's 2010 List of the Top 100 Leasing Sports Figures in Southern Arizona.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Michael Gets Another Mention

Michael continues to get mentioned here and there when talking about the young guns on the PGA Tour.  Today he was mentioned in an article over at golfinquirer.com:
"Michael Thompson:
Another young prodigy is American Michael Thompson. The 25-year-old golfer graduated from Q-School and grabbed an impressive 16th place at the leaderboard. The golfer has two professional wins so far and is currently on the PGA Tour as well. Although young, Thompson stood as a finalist at the 2007 US Amateur. He also won Hooter Tour Player of the Year 2010 and managed 5 top-ten finishes from 17 starts. Considering the 25-year-old’s recent record, it is easy to predict his future strategy would be only winning."
You can read the rest of the article over at golfinquirer.com: Players Aiming For Their First Tour Victory in 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet

Rob Bolton of PGATour.com came out with a list today of all 250 PGA Tour pros and ranked them 1-250 for fantasy golf fans.  Michael Thompson came out as number 112 on his list.
"112. Michael Thompson - Rookie. If you read my projections of the q-school grads, then you know that I'm all in on this guy."
In a funny coincidence and/or serendipity, he was ranked one below Colt Knost.  Knost beat Michael in the finals of the 2007 US Amateur.  It will be interesting to see how their two careers turn out after battling it out a few years ago as amateurs.

See the entire rankings over at PGATour.com: 2011 Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: Ranking Every Tour Pro 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thompson Named One of Golf's Top Ten "Potentential Breakthrough Stars of 2011"

In case you missed it, there was a nice article over at CNN.com this morning naming their top ten potential breakthrough stars of 2011. We weren't surprised to see Michael Thompson top the list. Here are a few excerpts:

















Who will be golf's new stars in 2011?
By Will Tidey, for CNN
December 21, 2010 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
(CNN) -- Who will be the new Matteo Manassero next year -- and which young golfers will struggle to build on their undoubted talent, as the highly-rated Danny Lee did in 2010?

With that disclaimer in place, CNN highlights golf's potential breakthrough stars of 2011, looking at the top-10 young men and women from the amateur and professional ranks.

PGA TOUR ROOKIES TO WATCH

Michael Thompson (United States)

The 25-year-old Thompson secured his PGA Tour card in some style, eagling the penultimate hole at qualifying school to book his spot next season.

"I wasn't quite expecting this," he told The Golf Channel after his final round.

"I was gearing my mind up to getting on the Nationwide Tour. I've always been a player to take slow steady steps ... but man, I can't wait for next year. It's been my dream since I was seven years old to play on the PGA Tour."

The two-time Arizona State High School Player of the Year (2002, 2003) was a finalist at the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championships and finished leading amateur at the 2008 U.S. Open.

In 2010 he was the leading money winner on the developmental Hooters Tour, where he won once and collected six top-10 finishes in total.

The whole article can be found over at CNN.com here: Who will be golf's new stars in 2011?

And just for the record, "yes" - the original article does actually link to our posted YouTube video (we didn't add it)!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Video - "Roll Tide"

So this little post has nothing to do with Michael Thompson. It does, however, feature 'Bama Nation and since Michael is a UA alum and our little blog here pays homage to the Crimson Tide both in name and color palette I thought those of you not watching ESPN might enjoy this. It might also give some insight into why all those people on the golf course are yelling "Roll Tide" at Michael.

Friday, December 17, 2010

One of the Signs You've Made It Onto the PGA Tour

Michael Thompson: International Man of Mystery


As the 2011 PGA Tour season approaches, there are more and more signs that Michael Thompson is a PGA Tour professional. One of the latest such signs is that Michael is listed as an "official" PGA Tour player on the PGA's website. Here's his own personal player page over at PGAtour.com:

Michael Thompson's PGA Tour Player Page

There are also signs that Michael's still just a rookie. For example, just check out the "photo" on his player page. Hopefully that will be rectified as the season progresses!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alabama Grad Michael Thompson Headed to PGA Tour

Susie Meyers & Michael Thompson discuss  golf and life with Tucson youth
The Birmingham News had a nice article on Michael today. In it he gave props to his swing coach, Susie Meyers:
"I feel great. It's been an incredible year. I also got married this year and, in a way, I don't want it to end."
He credited Susie Meyers, his "swing coach, mental coach, fitness coach, life coach," for getting him to this point.
"I struggled mightily in 2009 and started to doubt things," he added. "She and I got things turned around through hard work and going back to what worked when I was younger. I've been going to her since I was 14."
In the article, it also mentions that his first event of the year will be the Sony Open in Honolulu.

Read the rest of the article over at al.com: Alabama Grad Michael Thompson Headed to PGA Tour and if you're ever in Tucson, you can get lessons from Susie over at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meet Generation Next

Twenty-three Current and Former NGA/Hooters Tour heading to PGA Tour

By Paul Warner

Myrtle Beach, S.C.- December 10, 2010

Over the last 20 years, the NGA/Hooters Professional Golf Tour has proven to be the No. 1 development tour in the country for aspiring golfers to begin their careers, recommended by more PGA and Nationwide Tour professionals than any other tour in the country. NGA/Hooters Tour alumni have gone on to win on the Nationwide Tour, PGA Tour and Champions Tour, including 12 PGA Tour “Majors” and two PGA Tour Player of the Year awards. In 2010, former NGA/Hooters Tour players won 12 times on the PGA Tour and 12 more on the Nationwide Tour, cementing the National Golf Association as the 3rd largest men’s 72-hole professional golf tour in the country behind only the PGA and Nationwide Tours.

In 2011, 23 current or former NGA/Hooters Tour players will be advancing to the PGA Tour. Some advanced by finishing inside “The 25” on the Nationwide Tour, while others survived the grueling, six-round marathon that is PGA Tour Qualifying School to earn PGA Tour cards.

So without further ado, meet Generation Next:

1. Michael Thompson (Birmingham, Ala.)

After struggling through his first year on the NGA/Hooters Tour, Thompson, a former University of Alabama golfer, found his stride in the 2009 Bridgestone Winter Series, winning once and posting four finishes of T7 or better in eight events. The former U.S. Amateur runner-up carried that momentum into the 2010 NGA season, where he racked up six top-10 finishes, four top-5s and his first Hooters Tour win en route to POY honors.Thompson finished T16 in Q-School to earn his PGA Tour card.
Read more at hooterstour.com : Meet Generation Next

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anyone Up for a Round of Fantasy Golf?

I am a card carrying nerd. I'm an engineer who actually enjoys math. I can quote more lines from Star Wars than is healthy. I spend too much time interacting with computers. But that being said, I don't get "fantasy" sports. I can follow stats - I can even use them for my job - but I don't see the need to make a "game" out of them.

I've been following baseball all my life but have never delved into Fantasy Baseball. I'd just rather listen to it on the radio, watch it on TV, or go see a game live.

Judging by the sheer volume of fantasy leagues (and sports) out there I must be missing something. Heck, I didn't get Twitter until a month ago and now I'm addicted. So I'm going to give Fantasy Golf the benefit of the doubt - especially now that Michael Thompson is a Fantasy Golf commodity!

So if I were to start a Fantasy Golf team should I put Michael Thompson on my team? I think it's a "no brainer" but I'm his cousin. Here's what they're saying over at PGAtour.com:

Fantasy Insider: Handicapping the 2010 q-school grads

Dec. 14, 2010
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy columnist
Q-school is about dreams fulfilled and new beginnings, so I'm going be the bad guy for many even before the first peg of the 2011 PGA TOUR season pierces the turf on a tee box.
Fact is, if 10 of the 25 graduates crack the top 125 on the money list, it'll be a bumper crop. A whopping 11 emerged from the 2010 class. That was up from eight in 2009 and seven in 2008. And there's really no such thing as a can't-miss star in waiting. A male golfer's career bell curve generally peaks in his early 30s, so it's always wise to refrain from making comparisons of potential in this sport with its counterpart in another.
You already know that one of the more exciting elements of participating in fantasy sports is early adoption, but it will backfire more often than not in fantasy golf. Resist from investing in too many highly-touted rookies as all honeymoons end. It's simply not worth the short-term exhilaration at the start of the year. Rickie Fowler, for one, is the anomaly, not the rule.
Below are fantasy projections on all 29 in the 2010 q-school class. For projections on the 25 Nationwide Tour graduates, click here. All of the grads will be included in my full-membership fantasy rankings later this month.

* * * ROOKIE * * *
Age as of January 1, 2011: 25
World Ranking (as of Dec. 13, 2010): 1,320
2011 fantasy projection: Top 125
Rob's Riff: Every now and then, even I get giddy about possibilities. Then, virtually instantaneously, disappointment settles in that I have to share my insight if I'm worth my salt. It goes with the territory. Well, this fella has my attention. The former first-team All-American at Alabama and 2007 U.S. Amateur runner-up was the Hooters Tour Player of the Year in 2010. Love his body frame and realistic approach to his career. Alas, with limited experience on the PGA TOUR (six starts, including three as an amateur), his rookie year will be but a grind, but one worth the investment. Unless you are the only ringer in your fantasy league, then there's no chance that Thompson slides into steal range.

Last year the top 125 golfers on the PGA Tour earned at least $800K. Hopefully this year, fantasy turns into reality for Michael!


The whole article can be found over at PGATour.com here: Fantasy Insider: Handicapping the 2010 q-school grads

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thompson Named One of "Q-School's 10 Best Qualifiers" by Fanhouse.com

Michael Thompson got a very nice mention from B.J George over at Fanhouse.com where he was listed as one of Q-School's Top Ten Best Qualifiers. Here's a few excerpts from the article:

The PGA Tour's Q-School has always been a test of nerves, physical conditioning, and mental fortitude. It's intended to test the mettle of young players and make them earn their way onto the top tour in golf. Veteran Billy Mayfair proved last week that experience trumps energy level, as he claimed medalist honors from the 166-man field.

Mayfair and eight other players over the age of 30 were among the 29 qualifiers that earned a tour card for 2011. Some other numbers of note about your newest Tour members include seven international players, only eight players without a PGA Tour start in their career, and 18 of the 29 will officially be rookies in 2011.

Now that you know the make-up of the 29 qualifiers, let's take a look at who is most likely to make an impact in 2011:

Michael Thompson -- The former Alabama standout has enjoyed success at every level he's competed. The 25-year-old finished runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Amateur, ended as low amateur at the 2008 U.S. Open, and was named 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year. He showed great composure last week by holing a long eagle putt at the next-to-last hole to secure his card.
The whole article can be found at fanhouse.com here: PGA Tour Q-School's 10 Best Qualifiers.

A special thanks to Ben George (@thebengeorge) for passing this article along via Twitter!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Before the Crimson Tide, There Was A Green Wave

There was a brief article on Michael making the PGA Tour over at the Tulane University website.  Tulane was where Michael spent his first two years of college.  After Katrina, the university ended up suspending the golf program, and Michael was forced to transfer somewhere else, eventually choosing the University of Alabama.  Makes you wonder what would've happened if Katrina hadn't hit.  I guess he would've kept riding the Green Wave instead of being swept away by a Crimson Tide.  Here's an excerpt:
"Thompson, who transferred to Alabama when the Green Wave dropped their program in 2005-06, led Tulane in stroke average during each of his two seasons Uptown.
While at Tulane, Thompson posted a 72.6 stroke average in 69 rounds played. He led the team with a 72.4 average as a sophomore, earning an invitation to the 2005 NCAA East Regional, and tied for the team lead with a 72.9 average as a freshman. He posted four individual victories - winning three in playoffs - and earned five other top-10 finishes in his career."
You can read the rest over at tulanegreenwave.com:  Former Green Wave Golfer Michael Thompson Earns Tour Card

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's In a Name?

When referring people to our site you can send them to

ThompsonTide.com
or
TheThompsonTide.com

You no longer need to remember whether or not there is a "The".
Both names link to us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Q School Finalist Scott Stallings' Blog

Q School finalist Scott Stallings (T-11) has an interesting blog over at bnet.com.  His latest post talks a little bit about the transition from the Nationwide Tour to the PGA Tour.
"The last two days have been moving at lightning speed. Only hours after walking off the 18th hole, I was already at an orientation dinner for new PGA players. Two more days of orientation followed that. This week I get fitted for all of the clothes I’ll wear next year on tour. I have to find more investors, work out a new budget (my caddy needs a raise), finalize sponsorship contracts, and start making travel plans.
My first PGA tournament in Hawaii starts in a little over a month and I know from playing on the Nationwide tour that the sooner I get all of these business details into place, the smoother the transition will be once I’m back out on the course.
So many things will be different next year: The average purse for a Nationwide tournament was $100,000; on the PGA, it’s $1 million. The average crowd of spectators at a Nationwide tournament is probably 20,000-30,000 people for the week; a PGA tournament can attract more than that on any given day. I knew pretty much every curve, every hole, every bunker of most of the courses on the Nationwide tour; but next year it will be my first time playing almost every course I’ll encounter."

Michael Thompson will be going through a similar transition, except for the fact that he's making an even bigger leap from the Hooters Tour to the PGA.  The Hooters Tour is much smaller than the Nationwide Tour.  You make $30,000 for a win compared to $100,000 on the Nationwide.  Similar to the PGA, The Nationwide Tour events are televised, whereas Hooters Tour events are not.

You can read the rest of his post here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All-American Michael Thompson Earns PGA Tour Card

All-American Michael Thompson Earns PGA Tour Card
Dec. 6, 2010 
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - Former University of Alabama All-American Michael Thompson earned his PGA Tour Card and full playing privileges on the PGA Tour in 2011 after finishing tied for 16th place at the PGA Tour Qualifying School in Winter Garden, Fla., Monday. 
Thompson finished the 108-hole event with an 11-under par 418 (73-72-69-65-69-70), earning $25,000 in the process. A total of 166 golfers teed it up over six days at Orange County National's 7,493 par-72 Crooked Cat Course and 7,223 par-71 Panther Lake Course with the top 25 and ties earning their 2011 PGA Tour cards. 
Thompson's final round at Crooked Cat featured an eagle on the par-5 17th hole, ultimately propelling him from a tie for 27th place into a tie for 16th place at the very end of the tournament. 
After opening with a 2-over par 73 on the Panther Lake Course, Thompson followed that up with rounds of even-par 72 and 3-under par 69 at Crooked Cat. A six-under-par 65 in round four at Panther Lake rocketed Thompson up the leaderboard and put him in a tie for 27th heading into the final two rounds. 
Thompson followed up his stellar fourth round 65 with a 2-under par 69 at Panther Lake in Round 5 that put him in a tie for 22nd going into Monday's pressure-packed finale.
Thompson was named 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year after finishing the season with six top-10 finishes, four top-five showings and his first win on tour at the NGA Hooters Tour Michelob Ultra Classic at the Auburn University Club. Thompson earned $92,853 in winnings and accumulated tour-leading 3,865 points en route to POY honors.
Via Rolltide.com:  All-American Michael Thompson Earns PGA Tour Card

From NGA Hooters Tour To PGA Tour


Thirteen (13) From Hooters Tour Jump To PGA Tour

Michael Thompson: From Hooters Tour POY to PGA Touring Professional

Current Members Jim Renner, Ben Martin, Will Strickler and Joe Affrunti earn cards as well

By Paul Warner

Myrtle Beach, S.C.—Monday, December 6, 2010—The event affectionately referred to by the players as "Groundhog Day" (because of it's similarity to the repeating theme of the Bill Murray movie classic) has come to a close. If playing six rounds in as many days with your future on the line wasn’t enough, competitors in PGA Tour Qualifying School this year were faced with rain, frigid temperatures and howling winds over the final few rounds in Winter Garden, Fla. But for a group of battle-tested NGA/Hooters Tour alumni, none of it mattered.

Current NGA/Hooters Tour members Michael Thompson (Vestavia Hills, AL), Jim Renner (Plainville, MS), Ben Martin (Greenwood, SC), and Will Strickler (Gainesville, FL) will join fellow member Joe Affrunti (Crystal Lake, IL), who earned his card by finishing in the top 25 this season on the Nationwide Tour, on PGA Tour next season after having successfully navigated their way through Q-School.

Thompson, the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, joined the NGA/Hooters Tour in 2008 after having a stellar career at the University of Alabama. But success didn’t come easy at the next level.

“It was a reality check,” Thompson said of his first foray as a professional. “As an amateur I had built up a little confidence that I should be able to compete with these guys, and then I had a letdown. But I wasn’t just going to give up.”

After struggling through his first year on the NGA/Hooters Tour, Thompson found his stride in the 2009 Bridgestone Winter Series, winning once and posting four finishes of T7 or better in eight events. The former U.S. Amateur runner-up carried that momentum into the 2010 NGA season, where he racked up six top-10 finishes, four top-5s and his first Hooters Tour win en route to POY honors. 
“I played on the Hooters Tour this year and had a great year; I loved it,” Thompson told the Golf Channel after earning his card. “So when I got [to Final Stage], I was happy to be here because no matter what, I was moving up to the next level."

That next level looked to be the Nationwide Tour as Thompson reached No. 17 at 9-under par and one shot off the cut for a PGA Tour card. Thompson missed the fairway, but he flushed a 3-wood to get home in two, drained a long, left-to-right putt for eagle (the PGATour.com shot fo the day) and finished T16. Now Thompson will get to compete on the PGA Tour against fellow NGA/Hooters Tour Player's Of The Year Chad Campbell and Zach Johnson.

Jim Renner

Renner, who finished seventh on the NGA money list this season, would also need to take advantage of the par-5 17th to get inside the number. Renner, a two-time NGA winner, left his second shot just short of the green, but he chipped to within a few feet and made birdie to move to 10-under par. But his late-round theatrics weren’t over.

Renner found himself in the rough on the final hole and blocked by a group of trees. He hit a sweeping hook around the trees that landed about 15 feet from the hole. From there, Renner two-putted to finish T22 and earn his PGA Tour card. 
Martin, a current NGA/Hooters Tour member, wasn’t able to hold on to medalist honors, but the former Clemson University star, whose best showing this season on the NGA/Hooters Tour was T10, finished T2 after ending the six-round marathon at 17-under par.

Strickler, a current NGA member, started the day T4 and appeared a lock to earn his PGA Tour card. However, the former University of Florida player struggled in the inclement conditions and reached No. 18 at 10-under par. Strickler made bogey, but his stumble dropped the cut line to 9-under par and earned him a trip to the PGA Tour in 2011.

Of the 29 players that earned PGA Tour cards on Monday, 13 of them were either current or former NGA/Hooters Tour players. In addition, 23 past and present NGA/Hooters Tour player finished between T30 and T74 and will be fully-exempt on the Nationwide Tour next season.

The NGA/Hooters Tour is the 3rd largest men’s 72-hole professional golf tour in the country behind the PGA and Nationwide Tours and boasts an impressive list of alumni.

Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Jim Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; and Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, tested their mettle on the NGA/Hooters Tour before tasting success on golf’s grandest stage. All told, the NGA/Hooters Tour’s alumni have an incredible 12 “Majors” to their credit.

The NGA/Hooters Tour has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Senior PGA, and Nationwide Tour cards. In fact, 48% of the players that earned their 2010 PGA Tour card, and 53% of the players that earned full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour started their careers on the NGA/Hooters Tour.

For more information, visit www.NGAHootersTour.com.

Final Stage—Winter Garden, Fla. 
Full PGA Tour Status
T2 William McGirt -17
T2 Ben Martin -17
T6 Brandt Jobe -14
T11 Scott Stallings -12
T11 Nate Smith -12
T11 Gary Woodland -12
T16 Michael Thompson -11
T16 Kent Jones -11
T16 Matt McQuillan -11
T22 Alexandre Rocha -10
T22 Jim Renner -10
T22 Justin Hicks -10
T27 Will Strickler -9 
Full Nationwide Tour Status
T30 Tommy Biershenk -8
T30 J.J. Killeen -8
T30 Joe Affrunti -8
T30 Camilo Benedetti -8
T36 Ryan Armour -7
T41 Will MacKenzie -6
T41 Stephen Gangluff -6
T41 David Branshaw -6
T41 Michael Letzig -6
T50 Dustin Garza -5
T50 James Nitties -5
T59 Danny Wax -4
T59 Elliot Gealy -4
T64 Shaw Jasper -3
T64 Jim Herman -3
T64 Martin Flores -3
T64 Scott McCarron -3
T64 Jason Schultz -3
T74 James Sacheck -2
T74 Blake Parks -2
T74 Todd Bailey -2
T74 Travis Hampshire -2
T74 Matthew Giles -2
Via HootersTour.com: From NGA Hooters Tour to PGA Tour 

Video - The Magical 17th Hole From Tee to Green

Video - Michael Thompson Finishes at -11, Earns Ticket to PGA

Monday, December 6, 2010

Michael Thompson Interviewed After Earning a PGA Tour Card

PGATour.com Q-School Videos Including Thompson's "Shot of the Day"

Shot of the Day


Q-School Recap


Eagle Putt on 17 - As Shown Live on the Golf Channel

Thompson Continues the Climb All the Way to a Tie for 16th (and a PGA Tour Card)!!!

Michael Thompson continued his upward momentum at Q-School to finish in a tie for 16th which earns him a 2011 PGA Tour card! Michael says he's "been dreaming of making the PGA Tour since he was seven". Now the dream is realized. Via Twitter Michael said:
I did it! I earned my way to the PGA Tour! Thank you everybody for all of your support! Time to represent Bama on the big tour!
Michael's steady performance over the final five rounds vaulted him from a tie for 97th after the first round all the way into a tie for 16th. Here's how it went down:

Round 1: T-97
Round 2: T-75
Round 3: T-48
Round 4: T-27
Round 5: T-22
Round 6: T-16

We'll be posting video (and audio) from the Golf Channel later (especially the eagle on 17). Stay tuned!

Scorecard

Leaderboard

Michael did it!

Eagle on 17 followed by par on 18. -11 for the tournament. Should make it into the top 25 by 2 strokes. Will take home $25,000 along with his PGA Tour Card. Congratulations Michael Thompson! Time to go to Disneyworld!

More to come later...

Scorecard

Leaderboard

The Time Has Come... RALLY MONKEY!

The time has come to call in the rally monkey once again.  Throughout the last couple weeks, I've tried my best to bring good mojo to Michael.  At the Second Stage of Q School, he was sitting in 58th place, needing to finish in the top 19.  The Rally Monkey made his first appearance on this blog that day because hey, it couldn't hurt.  It worked for the Anaheim Angles baseball team, maybe it would work for Michael. Michael shot 4 under that day and moved up 30 spots.  I posted another Rally Monkey video the next day, and Michael shot up the leaderboard, finishing in 11th place and securing his spot in the Final Stage of Q School.

So the time has come again.  Today is the last day of Q School.  Michael faces one round of golf, possible windy conditions, and a one shot lead on where the cut line currently lies.  Let's all cross our fingers and send good vibes towards Michael today.   By our estimation he's going to need to shoot about 2 under to secure a position in the top 25, earning a PGA tour card  So without further ado, I give you ....

The Rally Monkey
(The Psycho version)



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thompson Moves Into Tie for 22nd

Thompson Finishes Round 5 of School at -9

Michael Thompson finished his third consecutive round in the 60's today after firing a two under par 69 on the Panther Lake course today. The round moved him into a tie for 22nd at nine under par for the tournament.

Conditions were tougher today as the winds picked up and Michael's round reflected it. He posted 6 birdies for the day including three in a row at the turn but he also had four bogeys. After reaching ten under par he gave two shots back on his 13th and 16th holes. He made a crucial birdie on his last hole to move back to 9 under par and, more importantly, inside the all important PGA Tour card cutoff of 25th or better.

Commenting on his round via Twitter Michael said
Salvaged my round on the last hole today. And from what I hear, yall saw it on tv! Now I'm gonna get some putting practice in and then rest.
For those of you who didn't "see it", here's his birdie on his last of hole of the day as seen on the Golf Channel.


video


Tomorrow is the last day of the "toughest tournament out there" and Michael is trying to finish inside the top 25 to earn a PGA tour card for 2011. When Q-School started there were 1239 applicants vying for those 25 cards and right now only 21 golfers are in front of Michael - a remarkable feat but the job isn't done for another 18 holes.

The final round of Q-School wraps up tomorrow and will be televised on the Golf Channel from 12:30-4:30 ET. Check you local listing.

More Press Clippings

Michael continues to receive additional press due to his current T-22 position. Here's an excerpt from over at HootersTour.com.

Michael Thompson, the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, continued his solid play at Q-School, touring Panther Lake in just 69 strokes. The former Alabama University linkster’s 2-under 69 was his third sub-70 round in a row—and bit adventurous. Thompson, who will start the final round T22, finished the day with eight pars, six birdies and four bogeys in the blustery conditions.

Reposted in part from HooterTour.com. The full article can be found here: Martin Still Sits at the Top

Golfweek Q-School Recap

Mayfair, Martin lead Q-School with 18 to playPGA Tour Q-School (Rd. 5) 
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Some were decorated amateurs, like former U.S. Amateur runners-up Ben Martin and Michael Thompson. Others, like UC Davis product Scott Gordon, developed at mid-major programs before toiling on the mini-tours for several years. 
Despite such different pasts, they find themselves in the same position entering Monday’s final round of Q-School: one good day away from their first PGA Tour card. Of the 32 players that find themselves T-27 or better, more than half have never had PGA Tour playing privileges.
“My goal is just to be mentally strong,” Thompson said. “If I can just stay strong, I’ll be right there. I just want to make sure I’m proud of my round and my effort tomorrow.” 
Martin is tied with Billy Mayfair for Q-School’s 90-hole lead; at 16 under par, they’re eight shots inside the cut line for a PGA Tour card. 
Thompson and Gordon won’t have such a luxury on Q-School’s final day. Thompson, whose 69 Sunday was his third consecutive sub-70 round, is one shot inside the cut line. Gordon will start Monday on golf’s most cruel line. 
Thompson was this year’s Hooters Tour player of the year; he turned pro two years ago after being low amateur at the U.S. Open (T-29). Gordon, a 29-year-old former Nationwide Tour player, played just four Gateway Tour events this year while rehabbing an undiagnosed injury in his left wrist. 
“I was lucky just to be able to play Q-School this year,” Gordon said. 
Thompson has put on quite the rally; he was in 75th place through two rounds after shooting 73-72. He hit just six greens in each of those two rounds. He’s hit at least 14 greens in each of the past three rounds, after resuming hitting a fade, his natural shot. He was drawing the ball the first two days. 
Will Strickler, runner-up in stroke play at the ’09 U.S. Amateur, is another player seeking his first PGA Tour card. He is tied for fourth through five rounds. 
“I’m probably going to wake up and be a little nervous. I’m not going to lie,” Strickler, a University of Florida product, said of the final day. “It’s kind of been the same way each day. Pretty much after the first tee shot, I’m pretty settled down, but I’m definitely anxious to get to the golf course each day.” 
Among the top six players on the leaderboard, only Mayfair has held a PGA Tour card.
Billy Horschel, who earned his first PGA Tour card at last year’s Q-School and is tied for ninth this week, said it’s inevitable that players will feel pressure. 
“There’s guys that say that (they won’t be nervous),” Horschel said. “Do they believe that? I don’t know. 
“I was real nervous (last year). It’s nerve-wracking, there’s no doubt about it.”
• • •
ON THE CUT LINE
Note: Top 25 and ties earn PGA Tour cards. However, players who’ve already graduated from the Nationwide Tour do not count toward the top 25. Michael Putnam, Joe Affrunti and Justin Hicks, all of whom earned PGA Tour cards via the Nationwide Tour, are among the top 25.
T-27. Richard S. Johnson (68)
T-27. Carlos Franco (68)
T-27. Jim Renner (67)
T-27. Scott Gordon (71)
T-27. Luke Hickmott (71)
T-27. Richard Lee (72)
MOVED INSIDE THE PGA TOUR CUT LINET-9. Gary Woodland (67, up 18 spots)
T-9. Michael Putnam (67, up 18 spots
T-16. Camilo Benedetti (66, up 24 spots )
T-16. Matt McQuillan (66, up 24 spots)
T-22. Joe Affrunti (68, up 10 spots)
T-22. Kyle Stanley (69, up 5 spots)
T-22. Michael Thompson (69, up 5 spots)
T-22. Ryan Armour (66, up 25 spots)
T-27. Richard S. Johnson (68, up 13 spots)
T-27. Carlos Franco (68, up 13 spots)
T-27. Jim Renner, (67, up 20 spots)
MOVED OUTSIDE THE PGA TOUR CUT LINET-33. Josh Geary (72, down 12 spots)
T-33. Joseph Bramlett (72, down 12 spots)
T-36. J.J. Killeen (73, down 15 spots)
T-36. Chris Baryla (74, down 22 spots)
T-36. Charles Warren (74, down 22 spots) 
 Reposted from GolfWeek.com : Q-School Recap

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thompson Has "One of the Best Days of Golf This Year"

Michael Thompson gives a fist pump after a birdie putt.

Continuing his upward momentum, Michael Thompson once again climbed the Q-School leaderboard with a six under par 65 on the Panther Lake course which moved him into a tie for 27th. Posting his best round of the tournament, Thompson had seven birdies and one bogey to move a single shot behind the ultimate goal of Q-School - a 25th or better finish which earns a PGA Tour card for the 2011 season.

Commenting on his round via Twitter, Michael said:

"That was one of the best days of golf I've had this whole year! Let's finish strong this weekend!"

Despite his success today, Michael and his group did have to face some adversity during the back-9 today when they got "put on the clock" which forced then to make each shot within a time limit. Via Twiiter, Michael said

"By the way for everybody's info my group got put on the clock from 14-17. Have you ever heard of anybody being put on the clock at Q-school?"
Despite the time limit, Michael shot one under over those holes.

Tonight, the field will be re-grouped for the final two rounds and this time Michael will be in the lead half of the field which will helpfully earn him some well deserved TV air time. By my reckoning his name appeared on the Golf Channel leaderboard for the first time just after he completed his round with a birdie on the 18th hole right around 3:30pm ET. Unfortunately, there was no video of him due to the fact that the coverage was focused on the Crooked Cat course.

Round 5 of 6 is tomorrow, and will be televised on the Golf Channel between 1-4pm EST. Check your local cable channel listings.

Leaderboard

Scorecard

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Gets a Mention

Michael got a brief mention in an article over at HootersTour.com by Paul Warner. See the link below for the entire article describing current Hooters Tour players and their current positions at Q-School.

Michael Thompson, the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, wasn’t left out of the birdie brigade, either. Thompson shot a 6-under 65 on the Panther Lake course and moved from T48 to T27.

The top 25 and ties at the conclusion of the six-round marathon will receive PGA Tour cards for the 2011 season. Currently, eight past and present NGA/Hooters Tour players are T25 or better, and two additional NGA alums are within one shot of the top 25. Players finishing 26th to 75th will receive Nationwide Tour cards for the 2011 season, and 26 current or former NGA/Hooters Tour players are in that category after the fourth round.
Via HootersTour.com: Current Member Ben Martin Maintains Lead at Q-School

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thompson Gaining Confidence And Moving Up Leaderboard

Michael Thompson shot 3 under, his best round yet at the Q School Finals.  He had 13 pars, 4 birdies and 1 bogey.  His  69 shots for the day moved him up the leaderboard to T-48.  While other's confidence seemed to waiver, Thompson looks as though he's gaining confidence as the tournament progresses.  On twitter he said
"I played Slick golf today!" 
"Hit 14 GIR (Greens in Regulation), 29 putts 13 fairways. That's what I'm talking about! I had 11 chances for birdie inside 15 feet! Let's do it again tomorrow!"
FYI: "Slick" is his college golf team's nickname for him after he broke his finger throwing a football.

If he can finish with a couple more rounds under par, he'll have a good shot at finishing in the top 25 and earning a PGA card.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Round 4 of 6 is tomorrow, and will be televised on the Golf Channel between 1-4pm EST.  Check your local cable channel listings.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Q School Round Two: Thompson Moves Up to 75th

Crooked Cat #9 Green.
See Additional Q School Photos and Coverage at Golfweek.com

Michael shot even par (72) for the day, including 12 pars, 3 birdies and 3 bogeys.  That moves him up to T-75 with four more rounds to go at Q School.  75th is an important position because those who finish 26-75 will receive fully exempt status on the Nationwide Tour next year.  The talk online this morning was all about the cold weather as the temp dropped to the low 40's.  Looks like about half the field went over par for the day, which allowed Michael to move up the leaderboard hitting even par.


Leaderboard
Scorecard

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Day 1 of a 6 Day Marathon, Michael Finishes T-97 at +2

Michael Thompson during Round 1 at Q School.  Photo from Golfweek.com

Michael Thompson battled windy conditions at the first round of the Q School Finals, posting 12 pars, 2 birdies, and 4 bogeys, for a 2 over par 73.  On Twitter, Michael wrote:
Hit 6 GIR (Greens in Regulation) today. Made a great 12 foot par putt on the last to salvage my round. Got to hit more greens tomorrow.
His 73 placed him T-97, which isn't too bad considering there's 5 more rounds to go.  Hopefully, he'll hit those greens better tomorrow.

Leaderboard
Scorecard
The Thompson Tide on Twitter
Michael Thompson on Twitter

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prepping for Q-School: 11 players to watch

Michael got a nice mention in an article over at Golfweek.com.  See link below for the rest of the list.
Michael Thompson: Thompson was one of the country’s top amateurs when he turned pro in 2008: He was runner-up at the ’07 U.S. Am, first alternate for that year’s Walker Cup team, then low amateur at the ’08 U.S. Open (T-29). Thompson struggled shortly after turning pro in ’08, after an agent advised him to change his swing to hit the ball higher. 
Thompson returned to his old swing late last year and found success. He won the money list on both the 2009-10 Hooters Tour Winter Series and ’10 Hooters Tour, and was this year’s Hooters Tour player of the year.

Via Golfweek.com: Prepping for Q-School: 11 players to watch

87 Final Stage Participants Gear Up For Grueling 108 Hole Finale

POY Michael Thompson


Eighty-Seven Final Stage Participants Know “You Can’t Practice Experience”
By: Paul Warner 
Myrtle Beach, S.C.—Monday, November 29, 2010—The final stage of PGA Tour Q-School starts this Wednesday December 1st in Winter Garden, Fla., at Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge, and continues thru Monday December 6th and there’s no shortage of NGA/Hooters Tour alumni in the field. 
Of the 164 players competing this week in the PGA Tour’s Final Stage of Q School, 87 (53%) are current or former NGA/Hooters Tourplayers. That’s over half the field that has competed in an NGA/Hooters Tour event in the past that are hoping to punch their ticket to the PGA Tour; once again proving former US Open Champion and one timeNGA/Hooters Tour Player Of The Year Lee Janzen’s exclamation. 
“You need experience that closely simulates the PGA Tour life, the Hooters Tour gives you that. The travel, playing 4 days, 36-hole cuts, walking, etc. You Can’t Practice Experience,” said Janzen of his time onThe NGA/Hooters Tour. 
They’ll be trying to put that experience to use over the grueling 6-day, 108-hole challenge that is the Final Stage of the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School. Those that are up to the challenge and place in the top 25 after the conclusion of the six rounds of stroke play will have their 2011 PGA Tour Cards awarded and will be present on golf’s biggest stage for next season. All participants outside of the top 25 will have some sort of status on the Nationwide Tour for the upcoming 2011 season, either fully or partially exempt. 
And, while many NGA alumni have PGA experience, there are plenty of current NGA/Hooters Tour stalwarts trying to make the leap straight to the PGA Tour. Four of the top 10 in the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour point standings have made their way to final stage. 
Michael Thompson, the NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year and points leader, continued to show the form that netted him over $100,000 in winnings this season, finishing T11 at Southern Hills Plantation Club to advance to final stage. Thompson picked up one regular season win and won the Q-School Prep Series event at the Auburn University Club en route to POY Honors. 
NGA/Hooters Tour veteran Todd Bailey, of Spanish Fort, Ala., will also be in the final stage field. A veteran of more than 100 NGA/Hooters Tour events, Bailey finished third on the points list in 2010 by making an incredible 17 out of 18 cuts and came home T15 in the second stage to advance to final stage. 
Patrick Nagle, who won the ComSouth Classic, finished the season ninth in the point standings this season on the NGA/Hooters Tour. Nagle finished T18 in Panama City Beach, Fla., to qualify for the final stage. 
Jim Renner, a two-time NGA/Hooters Tour winner, looks to continue his most successful season in professional golf.Renner finished inside the top 10 on the money list this season and finished T9 in second stage to make it to the finals. 
NGA/Hooters Tour Advisory Board member Casey Crain finished T11 in Humble, Texas, to advance to the final stage.Crain, a four-year NGA veteran, made 13 of 16 cuts on the NGA/Hooters Tour season, but he may be playing his best golf of the year at the right time. 
NGA veterans Danny Wax, Scott Weatherly, Billy Hurley, Scott Brown, and Tommy Biershenk all advanced to the final stage by being medalists at their respective second stage sites.
Wax, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member, shot a 17-under-par 271 and took home medalist honors at the Bayonet course at Bayonet and Black Horse; Weatherly, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour participant, finished at 13-under 275 to win co-medalist honors at Redstone Golf Club; Billy Hurley, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member and winner, joined former member Scott Brown as co-medalist at the second stage event at Southern Hills Plantation Club; and six-timeNGA/Hooters Tour winner Tommy Biershenk, the 2006 Most Improved Player, finished at 18-under 270 to take medalist honors at TPC Craig Ranch.

Former NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year Elliot Gealy also advanced to final stage. Gealy finished T8 in McKinney, Texas. NGA member Joe Affrunti, who was voted the 2009 Most Improved Player, secured his PGA Tour card after finishing 22nd on the Nationwide Tour money list this season. But the former NGA winner is hoping to increase his status for the 2011 PGA Tour season and is entered in final stage. 
The NGA/Hooters Tour is the 3rd largest men’s 72-hole professional golf tour in the country behind the PGA and Nationwide Tours and boasts an impressive list of alumni. 
Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Jim Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; and Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, tested their mettle on the NGA/Hooters Tour before tasting success on golf’s grandest stage. 
All told, the NGA/Hooters Tour’s alumni have an incredible 12 “Majors” to their credit. The NGA/Hooters Tour has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Senior PGA, and Nationwide Tour cards. In fact, 48% of the players that earned their 2010 PGA Tour card, and 53% of the players that earned full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour started their careers on the NGA/Hooters Tour. 
For more information, visit www.NGAHootersTour.com.

Past and Present Players at Final Stage:
Pablo Acuna
Joe Affrunti
Ryan Armour
Todd Bailey
Chris Baker
Andy Bare
Chris Baryla
Brian Bateman
Camilo Benedetti
Travis Bertoni
Tommy Biershenk
Craig Bowden
Jimmy Brandt
David Branshaw
Scott Brown
Ted Brown
Roberto Castro
Will Claxton
Erik Compton
Casey Crain
Matt Davidson
Brent Delahoussaye
Chris Epperson
Todd Fischer
Martin Flores
Stephen Gangluff
Dustin Garza
Elliot Gealy
Matthew Giles
Travis Hampshire
Jim Herman
Justin Hicks
Jason Hill
Billy Hurley
Lee Janzen
Shawn Jasper
Brandt Jobe
Kent Jones
J.J. Killeen
Jeff Klauk
Jason Kokrak
Grant Leaver
Tyler Leon
Michael Letzig
Edward Loar
Brock MacKenzie
Will MacKenzie
Ben Martin
Scott McCarron
William McGirt
George McNeill
Matt McQuillan
Garth Mulory
Patrick Nagle
James Nitties
Eric Onesi
Blake Parks
Scott Piercy
Aron Price
Clayton Rask
Jim Renner
John Riegger
David Robinson
Alexandre Rocha
Mike Ruiz
James Sacheck
Jason Schultz
Michael Sims
Nathan Smith
Scott Stallings
B.J. Staten
Darron Stiles
Will Strickler
Zach Sucher
Brett Swedberg
Michael Thompson
Chris Tidland
Blake Trimble
Ty Tryon
Martin Ureta
Dawie Van der Walt
Brian Vranesh
Danny Wax
Scott Weatherly
Ron Whittaker
Daniel Woltman
Gary Woodland
Via Hooters.com

Well Wishes From The Hooters Tour

 The Hooters Tour posted on Facebook:
87 past & present players teeing it up this Wednesday at the Final Stage of the PGA Tour's Q School! 4 of this years top 10 points leaders will be there including POY Michael Thompson, Todd Bailey (made 17 of 18 cuts), Patrick Nagle (Southern Hills Champion), & Jim Renner (Sunset Hills Champion). Player Board Member Casey Crain also in the mix! Congrats & GL to all those in the NGA/Hooters Tour family!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Michael Thompson Tweets

Michael posted on twitter:
Gonna play my first practice round at Orange County National tomorrow with none other than 2 time US Open Champ LEE JANZEN!!!
You can follow Michael on twitter at twitter.com/MSlickThompson

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Michael Thompson and Dicky Pride Advance to Final Stage of Q-School

Both players will now take part in the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School on Dec. 1-6
Nov. 24, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Former University of Alabama golfers Michael Thompson and Dicky Pride have each advanced to the final stage of the PGA Tour's Qualifying School after a pair of impressive performances in the second stage of qualifying last weekend.
Thompson finished in a tie for 11th place after shooting a four-round total of 7-under par 281 (73, 72, 68, 68) at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla. He vaulted up the leaderboard over the final two rounds, shooting the second lowest combined score, to finish two shots ahead of the cut line.
Pride fired an 8-under par 276 (73, 69, 66, 68) at Hombre Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Fla., to finish all alone in second place. His third round 66 tied for the lowest score shot during the qualifying stage.
Thompson and Pride will travel to Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla., for the final stage of Q-School. The finale is contested from December 1-6 and will consist of six rounds (108 holes). Both Thompson and Pride have reached conditionally exempt status on the Nationwide Tour by qualifying for the final stage. The low 25 and ties are exempt on the PGA Tour for next year.
During his time at Alabama, Thompson was finalist in the 2007 U.S. Amateur and a two-time All-American. Thompson collected invites to the 2008 U.S. Open and the 2008 Masters predicated upon his finish in the U.S. Amateur. Thompson was the medalist at the 2008 SEC Championship as he helped the Tide claim the school's first conference title in men's golf in 29 years.
Pride was named All-Southeastern Conference his junior and senior years at Alabama. He was a semifinalist at the 1991 U.S. Amateur Championship and turned pro in 1992. Pride has over a dozen top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events including a win at the Federal Express St. Jude Classic during his rookie season of 1994. His best finish in a major was a tie for 28th at the 2003 U.S. Open.
Via Rolltide.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final Stage of Q School - How's it Going to Work?

The final stage of Q School is taking place at the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge on Dec 1 - 6. Players will play on both the Crooked Cat and Panther Lake Golf Courses, playing each three times for six rounds total (108 holes).  There is no cut halfway through, so every player will be playing every day.

Who was exempt from First and Second Stages of Q School, but will now be playing in the final stage among the rest of the Q School players?

  • Those who were 126-175 on the PGA Tour's money list last year
  • Those who finished 26-40 on the Nationwide Tour's money list last year
  • Those who finished 1-3 on the PGA European Tour's money list last year
  • Those who finished 1-3 on the Japan Golf Tour's money list last year
What is the goal?
  • Those who finish 1-25 will play on the 2011 PGA Tour
  • Those who finish 26-75 will be given full status on the Nationwide Tour
  • Those who finish higher than 75th will be given conditional status on the Nationwide Tour

What does "conditional" status on the Nationwide Tour mean?
  • I haven't been able to figure it out exactly, but from what I can gather, the "conditional" players may have to wait for other fully exempt players to drop out before they're allowed to play at a tournament.  I believe there is also a monday qualifier for those conditional players, where they can play their way into the field.  The conditional status is for the first 12 tournaments, after which all the Nationwide Tour players are reshuffled based on how they did in the first 12 tournaments.
If anyone has any better information, let me know by posting a comment or emailing me.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hooters Tour Players at Q School - Who Made It?

According to the Hooters Tour Website, out of the 120 spots up for grabs at the Second Stage of Q School, 67 went to current or former Hooters Tour Players.

Of those 67, the ones that I thought were the better known players were:
  • Patrick Nagle
  • Jim Renner
  • Todd Bailey
  • Travis Hampshire
  • Will Claxton
  • Michael Thompson
Of course on the downside there were many other outstanding golfers who did not advance past the Second Stage.
  • Matt Harmon (2nd on money list)
  • Russel Knox (3rd on money list)
  • Ben Briscoe
  • Ryan Gildersleave
  • Andrew Svoboda
  • Matthew Swan
  • Rob Oppenheim
  • Mark Blakefield
  • Yohann Benson
  • James Vargas
  • Nick Rousey
  • Paul Claxton
  • Wil Wilcox
  • David Skinns
  • Brennan Webb
  • Garrett Jones
Russel Knox was perhaps the most surprising.  He is almost always near the top of the leaderboard at the Hooters Tour events.  He seems to be getting better as time goes on, and I think 2011 will be his year.

Here's a full list of the Final Stage Field

University of Alabama Media Guide

The University of Alabama  has put together a pretty nice media guide for the 2010-2011 Year.  You can check it out by clicking here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rachel's Happy

Rachel posted on Facebook:

Aaaaahhhhh! My wonderful husband is going to at least be on the nationwide tour next year! I love him so much!!! And my patients at the hospital are getting better! I am so blessed! Praise God!

The Congratulatory Calls Begin

This is from my brother Roz:

I accidentally sent Beth a congratulations text message that I was trying to send to Mikey! She said Mikey has been staying with a host family and that he used a caddie who he gets along with well. He’ll be using the same caddy for the final stage in Orlando. He’ll head back to Alabama for Thanksgiving and a bit of a break before he heads back to Florida to get ready for Stage III. 
I also got a reply from Mikey when I actually sent the message to the right e-mail address and he sounded pretty excited (in e-mail form)!

Michael Thompson Completes Amazing Comeback, Advances to Final Stage of Q School

In a tournament where finishing in the top 19 is the goal, 58th is not where you want to be. That's where Michael Thompson sat after the first of four rounds while playing at the Second Stage of Q School.

Making it in the top 19 meant you had a chance to move to the Final Stage of Q School, where you get a shot to play on the PGA Tour. It also meant you had an immediate invitation to play on the Nationwide Tour, where the top 50% or so make about the same or better than the top player on the Hooters Tour.

With so much on the line, all I could think about was the many times Michael had been under pressure before. From the finals of the US Amateur (playing live on CBS), to trying to make the cut at the Masters, to making the cut at the US Open...to struggling on the Hooters Tour, where finishing in the top 20 meant you'd at least break even. It all came down to three rounds left, with 39 other guys he had to pass by.

Round 2 came and went. He shot even par, which was not half bad considering how tough the Southern Hills Plantation Club had been playing. But after all that, he only passed 4 other guys to be T-54.

4 down, 34 to go
Round 3 was a bit of bloodbath. Lots of good players ended going over par. Some dropped substantially, and weren't able to recover. Michael? He shot 4 under, tying the second best score of the day, moving up an amazing 30 places on the leaderboard to T24. The dream was alive.

My brother Roz and I chatted over dinner last night. "Two under" my brother said. "Three or Four" I was thinking. Either way, another rally was needed if Michael wanted to advance.

So the scores come rolling in this morning, with Michael posting another 4 under par performance. He had done it. He moved up from 24th to T-11. He made the cut for the Final Stage of Q School by two strokes, passing 47 other guys in doing so. Amazing!

So what's next? The Final Stage of Q School is being held Dec 1-6 at the Orange County National Golf Center, located just north of Disneyworld in Orlando, FL.  It will be televised on the Golf Channel too.  It's been a while since I've seen Michael play on TV.  I'm not sure of the specifics, but I believe it's the same format, where the top 20 or so will earn their PGA card for 2011.  The others that don't make it will play on the Nationwide Tour, which ain't so bad either.  Most of the Nationwide Tour events are televised by the Golf Channel.

So congratulations to Michael Thompson!  I'm one super-proud cousin right now.  My co-workers are going to be sick of me with all my golf-talk, but they'll just have to get over it.

Viva la Rally Monkey!

Leaderboard

He Did It!!!!

Michael shot 4 under moving up high enough to continue on to the Final Stage of Q School! Scores still rolling in....

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Rally Monkey Comes Through!


Michael posted the second best score of the day, shooting 4 under par.  He moved up an incredible 30 spots on the leaderboard from T-54 to T-24.  He's now about 2 shots back from the top 19, the magical line at which he would earn a ticket to the Final Stage of Q School, and an invitation to play on the Nationwide Tour.  So it's time for the Rally Monkey to do his work again, and bring some good mojo to Michael's last round of golf.
Leaderboard


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time To Bring In The Rally Monkey

Michael shot even par in the second round at Q School.  He moved up to T-54.  In order to continue on to the final stage of Q School he needs to finish in the top 19, which right now sits about 5 shots away.  On a positive note, he had a pretty consistent round of golf: 16 pars, 1 birdie and 1 bogey.  If he can stay away from the bogeys and add in some birdies (ok... a lot of birdies), he still has a shot at moving up the leaderboard.

Leaderboard


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Michael's Got Some Catching Up To Do

Michael shot 1 over par at Southern Hills Plantation Club where the Second Stage of Q School is taking place.  Currently T-58th, he's got to put in some good rounds if he wants to finish in the top 19 and advance to Stage 3.  David Branshaw is in the lead at -8.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thompson Finishes 12th at Forest Lake

Michael Thompson shot 2 under in the 3rd and final round at Forest Lake, placing  T12 for the tournament with a -8. It was his first tournament of the Winter Tour and acts as a good warm up for Q School starting on Nov 17.
Leaderboard

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thompson Heads Into Final Round at Forest Lake in 9th Place

Michael played bogey-free golf today, going 4 under in the second round at Forest Lake Golf Club. He's at -6 overall and is T-9th. Rob Oppenheim and Ryan Zabroske are in the lead at -11. There's lots of familiar names in the top 10: Travis Hampshire (T-3), James Vargas (T-3), Michael Welch (5), Jeff Corr (T-9)and Ryan Gildersleave (T-9) among others. The cut line landed at -2 and the final round is tomorrow. At the other end of the spectrum, the "Tin Cup" award goes to one unfortunate golfer who had a 9 on a par 4. Ouch!
Leaderboard

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Round Scores Are in At Forest Lake Golf Club

The first round scores are in, with Michael finishing T-26th with a -2 which is right at the current cut line. The scores have a rather wide range, from -7 to +9.  Such is life on the winter tour, where golfers hoping to make the leap to the pro ranks try it out on the smaller scaled winter tour.

The cut comes after the 2nd round, with the 3rd and final round on Thursday.
Leaderboard

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thompson Set to Play on the Hooters Winter Tour

Michael is signed up to play at the Forest Lake Golf Club this week.  It's part of the Hooters Winter Tour, which takes place in the Orlando area.  The tournaments are all three rounds instead of four, and have a smaller purse than the regular Hooters Pro Tour season.  First place is generally worth between $10,000-$12,000 vs. $30,000 on the regular tour.

New Website! Yipee!

Well, I'm finally done.  I've ported over the entire website from Google Sites to Blogger.  I did so mainly to integrate better with Facebook and Twitter and to add some interactivity.

New Features
  • You can now add your own comments.  Just click on the blue header for the post and add your comments at the bottom of that page.
  • There's now a "Like" button for you Facebook addicts.
  • At the bottom right corner of each post, there are buttons to "Email This", "Blog This", "Share to Twitter", "Share to Facebook" and "Share to Google Buzz".
  • I set up a video playlist on Youtube.  The video window on the upper right corner has arrow buttons on the left and right side to skip to the next video.  Let me know if you know of any other videos on Youtube that I can link to.
  • In order to avoid losing articles to the changing winds of cyberspace, I've copied the text of the articles over to the posting. At the bottom of each article is a link to the original location.  It will normally say "Via ____".  In most cases you're better off looking at the original article because there's photos and additional formatting. 
  • Do you want to be a ThompsonTide.com contributor?  I now have the ability to post articles via e-mail, so if you're interested I can give you an email address which would post directly to the website.
To speed up the transfer, I haven't copied over all the leaderboard links.  I'll be working on that in the near future, perhaps making a master list of leaderboard links.  In some cases (especially Nationwide Tournaments), the original leaderboards don't exist anymore so alternate sources had to be found.

Email Me!

I added my email address below the "External Links" on the left side of the page. Feel free to email me if you find an article online or have some news to share.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Michael Thompson Mentioned in Rolltide.com Article

Nov 2, 2010: I found a nice interview of Jay Seawell, Michael's college coach about the University of Alabama golf program. Michael got a mention:
"Because of the facilities and because of a few guys who took a chance five or six years ago, the Mark Harrell's, the Matthew Swan's, the Gator Todd's, the Joseph Sykora's, the Michael Thompson's, we became a household name in college golf," Seawell said. "Those guys believed in a vision of making this place a great college golf town. And they did. They need as much credit as anybody."
Original article at Rolltide.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Put It on Your Calendar: Q School - Stage 2 Starts 11/17

The assignments for the Second Stage of Q School have gone out. Michael will be playing in Brooksville, FL at the Southern Hills Plantation Club, 11/17-11/20.  He will be playing alongside some familiar names:
Derek Fathauer, Matt Harmon, Billy Horschel, Russel Knox, Rob Oppenheim and James Vargas.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Q School and Michael Thompson - What's Going On?

Question: What does all this stuff about 2010 Q School mean?
Answer: The PGA's Qualifying School (Q School) has 4 stages:
  • Prequalifying Stage (for players with no prior history of competition)
  • First Stage. About 80 people play for approximately 25 spots to advance to the next stage. This is what Michael just completed, finishing 3rd.
  • Second Stage. The people that got by the First Stage play in another tournament, again needing to finish in the top 20% or so to move on. 
  • Final Stage. The real goal for Michael is to at least make it to the Final Stage. Everyone that makes it, automatically gets to play on the Nationwide Tour the next year (more money, more prestige, televised events), and the top finishers of the final stage will get to play on the PGA tour. If you don't make it, it's back to the Hooters Tour or other development golf tours.
Question: What about 2011 Q School?
Answer: If Michael can make it to the Final Stage, earning his Nationwide or PGA tour card, next year he would at a minimum, automatically advance to the Second Stage of Q School. If he were on the Nationwide tour and finished in the top 25 on the money list, he would automatically earn a PGA tour card and skip the Q School process. If he finished in the top 25-40, he would get a pass advancing him all the way to the Final Stage. It's one of those things, where once your'e in, it's a little bit easier to stay in...but getting there is the hard part.


Question: How far has he gotten before?
Answer: In 2008 he made the cut at the US Open, thus earning a pass to the Second Stage of Q School, although he didn't make it to the Final Stage (Tied for 52nd). In 2009 he barely missed advancing past the First Stage (T-30). This year, he has now made it to Second Stage.

Stats Tab Added

I've noticed that some of the links to articles on the "2008" and "2009" pages no longer work, and I'm not sure how long the leaderboards for various tournaments will exist on the internet, so I took it upon myself to document all the tournaments that Michael Thompson has played in as a pro. Thus, over the last couple of days I've compiled all the scores and stats. Click on the "Stats" tab near the top of the page to view. It's broken out by tournament name, date, earnings and round scores, as well as number of Birdies, Pars, Bogeys, etc. In doing all this work, I discovered that the Hooters website sometimes lists his placement wrong  on his season summary, and their stats included the Q School Prep Series in his 2010 earnings & hole stats. Since I've compiled everything, one could break everything out if they wanted to.

Happy Birthday Uncle Mike!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Michael Thompson Advances to Stage 2 of Q School

Michael had an off day, shooting 3 over par, but he still sails through to the next stage of Q School! He finished T-3rd at -11. His college teammate, Matthew Swan also made it to the next round, as well as fellow Hooters Tour players Todd Bailey, Will Claxton, and Ben Briscoe among others. Leaderboard

Hooters Tour on Facebook

The NGA Hooters Tour posted on Facebook: "At the Auburn University Club, NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year Michael Thompson has a four-stroke lead over NGAers Josh Broadaway and Lee Williams! Tyler Leon is fourth, and Zachary Sucher is fifth! 24 past/present players are in good position advance! Hoot! Hoot!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back In The Lead at Auburn

Michael shot -5 in the 3rd round at Auburn. He regained the lead and holds a commanding 4 shot lead.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Shot Back From the Leader at Q School

Michael shot 3 under in the 2nd round. -9 overall, one back from the leader. Alone in 2nd place.

What's This Facebook Thingie?

The NGA Hooters Tour posted on Facebook
"NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year Michael Thompson is at it again! After winning the Prep event at The Auburn University Club, he fired a 66 in the first round of Q-School and leads over NGAers Josh Broadaway, Matthew Swan, Zach Sucher and Ben Briscoe by one shot! 19 current/past players are in position to advance at the moment!"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Place After 1 at Q School Stage 1

Michael finished the 1st round with -6, and is in 1st place. To advance to the 2nd round, he'll need to finish T-23rd or better.

Q School Stage 1 @ Auburn begins today

Michael's 1st round of Q School begins today. Leaderboard

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life on The Hooters Tour

Q School Prep Series Deemed A Hit Among Players

News >> Q-School Prep Series Deemed A Hit Among Players!!!
Q-School Prep Series deemed a hit among players!!!
By: Paul Warner
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – October 25, 2010 – Last week, 60 current and former NGA/Hooters Tour players advanced through the first stage of PGA Tour Q-School. Over the next two weeks, another group of past and present players will take to the links for the first stage of Q-School, and many will do so with the courses fresh in their minds, thanks to the NGA/Hooters Tour inaugural PGA Tour Q-School preparatory series.
The series, hosted at Callaway Gardens Resort in Pine Mountain, Ga., PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and The Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala., allowed players to play the actual courses used in Q-School under tournament conditions. In addition, six players, two at each event, received Q-School reimbursements.
Brian Anderson 
Brian Anderson, who finished second to Martin Ureta at the Wanamaker Course and will receive a Q-School reimbursement. “It was a no-brainer for me to play in the event. It’s huge because you get to play a three-round event in a competitive environment on the course you’re going to play in Q-School.”
Ureta, of Chapel Hill, N.C., took medalist honors in the event and will also receive a reimbursement. And the $4,500 reimbursement fee goes a long way for players this time of year.
“At this level, we don’t have a lot of sponsors and it’s tough to scrounge together that kind of money at the end of the year, so I appreciate getting the reimbursement,” saidRichard Scott, who won the Callaway Gardens event. But the bigger reward forScott, of Saint Simmons Island, Ga., may be the time spent on the course.
“I don’t care what anybody says, it’s hard to simulate tournament conditions unless you’re playing a tournament,” he said. “You can go and practice at the course, but you don’t have the same focus. Definitely, getting a few tournament rounds in before Q-School, it’s going to help. You make mental notes and a get a feel for the pins, greens and tee boxes.”
Chris Wolfe, of Warner Robins, Ga., finished second in the event and will also have his Q-School fee reimbursed.
In the Auburn event, Michael Thompson, the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, continued his stellar season by cruising to a four-shot win. Since Thompson already had a reimbursement for his season-long exploits, Will Wilcox and Ben Briscoe, who finished second and third, respectively, earned the final two reimbursements.
And even though Wilcox, the NGA/Hooters Tour Rookie of the Year, earned more than $100,000 between the NGA/Hooters Tour, Canadian Tour and Nationwide Tour in his breakout season, he still wasn’t going to miss the chance to further familiarize himself with the course prior to Q-School.
Will Wilcox
“I haven’t played the course when it was in that good of condition,” said Wilcox. “I definitely think it’s going to help me playing it so soon before Q-School. And, without a doubt, I’m happy to have Q-School paid for!”
The NGA/Hooters Tour is the 3rd largest men’s 72-hole professional golf tour in the country behind the PGA and Nationwide Tours and boasts an impressive list of alumni.
Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Jim Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; and Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, tested their mettle on the NGA/Hooters Tour before tasting success on golf’s grandest stage.
All told, the NGA/Hooters Tour’s alumni have an incredible 12 “Majors” to their credit. The NGA/Hooters Tour has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Senior PGA, and Nationwide Tour cards. In fact, 48% of the players that earned their 2010 PGA Tour card, and 53% of the players that earned full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour started their careers on the NGA/Hooters Tour.
For more information, visit www.NGAHootersTour.com.
via Hooters.com 

More Photos From Michael & Rachel's Wedding

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Look Into The PGA Tour Qualifying School

 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour POY Michael Thompson







How Hard Is Too Hard?
A Look Into The PGA Tour Qualifying School
By:Justin Jernigan
Myrtle Beach, SC (October 19, 2010)After a long grueling season on the NGA/Hooters Tour, the future stars of the PGA TOUR must then prepare themselves for probably the most important three months of their lives, PGA TOUR Qualifying School or Q-School as it is known to the competitors. 
There are 6 pre-qualification events held across the country from September 14-24. The pre-qualification stage is for any player with no prior history of competition. The fields for these events are generally 82 players with the top 40, 41 or 42 players advancing to first stage. If you are lucky enough to get through the first 72-hole tournament, you will be joined in first stage by a group of exempt players that include:Q-School is a four stage event at the end of every season starting in mid September and culminating with a gut-wrenching, mind-draining six round final stage in mid December to determine where you will play next season. The Qualifying Tournament eventually determines the 30 players (and ties) who receive their TOUR cards for the following year. Anyone else who advances to the final stage receives some kind of status on the PGA’s Developmental tour, the Nationwide Tour.
• Members of any of the International Federation of PGA Tours or Nationwide Tour during 2006-2010.
• Applicants who made the cut during 2009 or 2010 in a tournament awarding official money conducted by a member of the International Federation of PGA Tours or Nationwide Tour as of the q-school entry deadline of Sept. 29, 2010.
• Applicants who finished in the top 60, including ties, in 2008 or in the top 50, including ties, in 2009 in a first stage event of the PGA TOUR National Qualifying Tournament.
• Applicants who played in the second stage of the 2007, 2008 or 2009 PGA TOUR National Qualifying Tournament.
• Applicants ranked Nos. 101-200 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of the q-school entry deadline.
• Applicants who made the cut at the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship.
• Applicants who finished in the top 10, including ties, at the 2009 PGA Assistant Professional National Championship.
• Applicants who played in the 2009 or 2010 Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship.
• Applicants who were members of the 2009 U.S. Walker Cup Team or 2008 U.S. World Amateur Team.
• Applicants who played in the semifinals of the 2009 or 2010 U.S. Amateur or the finals of the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
There are 13 first stage events, held across the country from Oct. 19-30, with fields of approximately 78 players. A predetermined number of those based on the size of the field -- generally the low 19, 20 or 21 and ties -- advance to the second stage of qualifying, which will be held Nov. 16-20.
Once past the first stage, life will not get any easier for the members of the NGA/Hooters Tour that are still alive. The action heats up as all first stage survivors are joined in second stage by exempt players that include :
• 2010 PGA TOUR members
• Winners of Nationwide Tour tournaments whose victories are considered official, in the current calendar year plus the previous five (2005-2009) calendar years.
• The top 10 available finishers, including ties, to a floor of 25th position, from the current year's PGA Professional National Championship.
• Applicants who made the cut in the current year's Masters Tournament, PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship.
• The leading fourth through 10th available players to a floor of 25th position, on the PGA European Tour and Japan Golf Tour respective official money lists as of the q-school entry deadline (Sept. 29, 2010) and the Australasian PGA Tour final official money list from the 2009 season.
• Players who have made 50 or more cuts in PGA TOUR cosponsored or approved tournaments awarding official prize money in their careers as of the q-school entry deadline.
• Players who finish from 41st through 70th on the 2010 official Nationwide Tour money list.
• Those applicants ranked 51st through 100th on the Official World Golf Ranking as of the q-school entry deadline.
• The leading first and second available players, to a floor of 10th position, on the applicable official money list or order of merit as of the q-school entry deadline of each of the following international tours: Asian Tour, Canadian Tour, Tour de las Americas and from the Sunshine Tour's final official money list for the 2009 season.
Like in the first stage, only a segment of those players, based on the number of entrants at that qualifying event, will advance to the all-important finals. Exempt into the final stage at Orange County National are the following players, should they decide to compete:
• Those applicants ranked from Nos. 126-150 on the final 2010 official PGA TOUR money list.
• Those Special Temporary members of the PGA TOUR whose combined official money and money earned in official money World Golf Championship events is equal to or greater that the 150th place finisher on the 2010 official PGA TOUR money list.
• Those applicants among Major and Minor Medical Extension category members whose official money earned in their available tournaments, when combined with the amount of official money in their tournaments played, equals or exceeds the amount of official money earned by the member who finished 150th on the PGA TOUR money list for the preceding calendar year shall be exempt into final stage in that year provided that the official money earned in his tournaments played is less that the 150th finisher on the PGA TOUR money list in the year of the applicant's injury.
• Those applicants finishing 26th through 40th on the final 2010 Nationwide Tour money list.
• The leading first, second and third available players, to a floor of 10th position, on the PGA European Tour and Japan Golf Tour respective official money list as of the q-school entry deadline and the Australasian PGA Tour final official money list from the 2009 season.
• Those applicants among the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking as of the q-school entry deadline.
Once into the final stage, not only are players competing in the toughest 108 holes of their lives, but they competing against some of the world’s best players that are either trying to fulfill their dreams of competing on the PGA Tour or those players looking to keep their careers going on Tour. It will not be easy for the past and present players of the NGA/Hooters Tour but since its inception in the late 80’s, the NGA/Hooters Tour has been preparing players mentally and physically for the arduous task of getting their PGA TOUR Card. The National Golf Associationis the only Tour other than PGA and Nationwide Tour that conducts week-long (Monday Qualifiers, Shootouts, Long-Drive Contests, Pro-Ams) 72-hole events with a 36-hole cut to top 65 and ties.
This was never more evident than in last year’s final stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. Look at the following statistics from the grueling 108-hole Q-School:
48% (12 of 25)of those players who earned their 2010 PGA Tour Card played on the NGA/Hooters Tour, including 2009 NGA/Hooters Tour members Chris Wilson and Martin Flores, Jay Williamson, Brent DelaHoussaye, Kris Blanks, Michael Connell, JP Hayes, Brendon De Jonge, Spencer Levin, Jeff Maggert, Chris Riley and Brian Stuard.
27 of the 51 players (53%)that earned full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour have played on the NGA/Hooters Tour in the past, including 2009 NGA/Hooters Tour members Bronson La’Cassie, Scott Stallings, Keegan Bradley, Luke List, Andrew Svoboda, Bobby MacWhinnie, Rob Oppenheim and Joe Affrunti. Joining the 2009 members were former players Kevin Kisner, Tom Pernice Jr., Mark Anderson, Josh Broadaway, Adam Meyer, Ted Brown, Casey Wittenberg, Stephen Poole, J.J. Killeen, Chris Kirk, Major Manning, Scott Brown, Scott Gutschewski, Shaun Micheel, Ty Harris, Tommy Gainey, Nathan Smith, Dave Schultz and Matthew Borchert.
All told, of the 170 players that competed in the 6 round final stage, an amazing 42% (71 players) have played on theNGA/Hooters Tour in the past.
Qualifying school is not the only way former NGA/Hooters Tour players gained exempt status on the PGA Tour for 2010. Last season, 11 other former players earned their PGA Tour cards by finishing in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour’s money list giving the NGA/Hooters Tour 23 former players who secured their PGA TOUR card for 2010
The following were the 11 former NGA/Hooters Tour players who finished in the top 25 on the 2009 Nationwide Tour money list: Chad Collins, Blake Adams, Derek Lamely, Tom Gillis, Josh Teater, Matt Every, Justin Bolli, Garrett Willis, Craig Bowden, Vance Veazey and Fran Quinn. With these stats, the NGA/Hooters Professional Golf Tour continues to prove year after year to be the #1 developmental tour in the United States for aspiring professionals to begin their careers.