Monday, November 29, 2010

Prepping for Q-School: 11 players to watch

Michael got a nice mention in an article over at  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 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

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

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

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.

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 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!


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.

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.


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.

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!

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.

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 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 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

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.