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