Thursday, October 20, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Classic - Round 1


by Randy Roberts

Michael scored 2 under par today on Disney's Palm Course.  He's tied for 43rd and about two shots ahead of where the cut line would land (Even) and four shots behind the leaders who are at -6.

Michael tees off at 8:00 am EST on Friday and he'll be playing on the Magnolia Course which has Shottracker data on it, so you'll be able to follow along a little bit more closely.


Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group on Shottracker
Michael on Shottracker
Pro/Am Leaderboard

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last Tournament of the Year


by Randy Roberts

The last tournament of Michael Thompson's rookie career starts on Thursday.  What a year it's been!  As Round 1 of Q School started this week, we can all rest easy knowing that Michael has already earned his PGA Tour Card for next year and won't need to return to Q School.  The pressure will certainly be off, although I'm sure he'll be looking to get back on top of the leaderboard this week at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The tournament will be taking place on two courses at Disneyworld: The Magnolia and Palm Courses.  For those of you familiar with Disneyworld, the courses are located directly west of the Polynesian Resort and southwest of the Grand Floridian Hotel.

An unusual aspect of this tournament is that it is a Pro-Am tournament, so Michael will be playing in a foursome with JJ Henry and two amateurs.  Michael will be paired with Spence Wilson Jr. who also is a University of Alabama alum.  They will be teeing off at 12:00 EST on the Palm Golf Course.

Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group on Shottracker
Michael on Shottracker
Pro/Am Leaderboard

The tournament will be televised 2-5pm EST on the Golf Channel

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thompson Accomplishes Goals, Earns PGA Tour Card



by Roz Roberts III and Randy Roberts


Michael Thompson finished up the McGladrey Classic with a one under par 69.  It wasn't enough to take home the title, but it was good enough for a third place finish worth an additional $272,000 which vaulted him up the money list from 116 to 94th.  With one tournament left in the season, he should finish the season in the top 100 on the money list which will earn him his PGA Tour Card for the next year.

When we met with Michael before the season started, he told us that his "Results Goal" was to keep his card. His "Process Goal" was to learn how to deal with life on the PGA Tour, figure out a routine that works, and stay mentally focused.

With his solid showing this week he accomplished his "Results Goal" and its safe to say that the second part of the season has demonstrated that he's made significant progress towards his "Process Goal".  After having limited success over the first part of the year, Michael had an "epiphany" and told the rest of us not to worry about him "missing cuts".  From then on he's made 10 of 12 cuts and finished fourth at the Traveler's Championship and now third at the McGladrey Classic.

This week Michael was in contention all four rounds and played in the final group on both Saturday and Sunday.  Earlier in the year, Michael was in the final group on Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open but the pressure and distractions that come with the scrutiny disrupted his game.  He ended up finishing tied for 34th.

Michael's results this week were different because Michael was able to stay in his process and work through those pressures for the most part.  He missed a crucial birdie putt on the fifteenth hole and he bogeyed the 72nd hole to miss a playoff by one shot but Michael is going to learn from this week, too.  After the round he said,

The putt on 15, the birdie putt, if I would have made that, who could tell where I would go from there. But I've been telling myself on every putt, right before I hit it, I say, it's just another putt, it's just another putt. There's no emotion to it or whatever, and I didn't tell myself that on that one putt.
And then 18 was just a mental error. It just happened.
And Michael's looking forward, not backwards
It's all part of the learning experience. I'm right where Webb Simpson was when he first came out on TOUR. Look where he is now. Maybe in a couple years I'll be up where he is. I'm just excited. I get to play next year. That was a huge goal for me, and we'll see what happens.


After watching this week and seeing how he dealt with having a 54 hole lead, keeping his composure and even keel, dealing with the increased scrutiny from the golf media, I think it's fair to say that he's accomplished his "Process Goal" as well.  We've been following his career closely since 2007 and it's been a pleasure to watch him grow as a player and a person.

"I Told You So..."

by Roz Roberts III

My brother Randy and my cousin Michael are too classy to point it out, but both of them should be sending me "I told you so" messages this week.   Early last week, Michael posted the following on Twitter:

Food for thought: the last time I was in Sea Island, GA I won the SEC Championship. I like that place.
and Randy sent me the following e-mail:
Shhhh...
Bud Cauley is getting all the attention… but I think this is Michael’s week.  Don’t have any other reason other than a gut feeling.  Don’t want to jinx it by tweeting it.  I hope I’m right.
 In both cases, Nostradamus would be proud!   And yes, you both told me so...

"Michael Thompson is a Contender"


Farrell Evans of ESPN.com has some really nice words to say about Michael's performance in his "Five Things Learned This Week" column.  You can read it by clicking here.

Thompson Interviewed After Round 4

video

Here's another example of why you should root for Michael Thompson.  Michael had just finished one shot short of a playoff for first place.  He had just made only his fourth bogey of the tournament (on the 72nd hole no less).  Michael was asked to do a live interview on the Golf Channel.  Not only did Michael do the interview but he was honest, honorable, and a great example to people everywhere.  Way to go MT!

Thompson Upbeat After Tough Finish

Click on the image above to be taken to the original PGA Tour Report article.


By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Michael Thompson won’t be leaving Sea Island with his first career victory, but he won’t be going home empty handed either.

The 54-hole leader suffered a bogey on the 72nd hole which left him one shot out of the Ben Crane-Webb Simpson playoff Sunday at Sea Island. His third-place earnings, however, will ensure the rookie and 2010 q-school graduate of a spot on the PGA TOUR next season.

“In the big picture, it’s not a bad thing,” Thompson said. “Hey, I get to play next year and that’s a huge accomplishment. Check that off the list, and you never know. I’m playing good and next week, I might have a chance again.”

Thompson led by as many as three shots during Sunday’s final round, but a 2-over 37 on the back nine, combined with Ben Crane’s back-nine 30, left the rookie on the outside of the playoff.

He was tied with Crane and Simpson, who had both completed their rounds at 15 under, when he stepped onto the 18th tee. Thompson hit a 264-yard drive into a water hazard right of the right fairway bunker, a shot e said was simply a “mental error.” Thompson took his drop and hit a 222-yard approach within 27 feet, still with a chance to get into the playoff.

The par putt broke left the cup and Thompson knew he’d missed his chance.

“I had a really good chance to win, but that’s all part of the experience,” Thompson said. “I’m right in the same shoes that Webb Simpson was when he first came out on TOUR and look where he is now. You’ve got to go through the disappointing times in order to get to the happy times and success.”

Thompson, the 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year and former SEC Champion, started the week at No. 116 on the money list and improves to 94th, plenty secure in his TOUR status for 2012.

McGladrey Round Four Highlights

Round 4 Preview From PGATour.com



You can also watch the Golf Channel's preview for round 4 by clicking here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thompson In Prime Position Headed Into Round Four

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson "is very excited" to be headed into tomorrow's final round at the McGladrey Classic with a one shot lead over Billy Horschel.  After posting one of only three bogey free rounds on Saturday, Michael jumped into the lead with a three under par 67.  Michael's rounds of 65-65-67 have him sitting at thirteen under par.  Besides Horschel, Trevor Immelman and Webb Simpson are also within two shots of Micheal's lead.

Michael will start his final round at 1:15pm ET and he will once again be paired with Horschel.  The two SEC alums get along well. After his round Michael said

"We had a great time out there; we were talking a lot; we were laughing. It was just like playing at your country club on a Saturday. It really made me feel comfortable going out there and playing with a buddy of mine. We get to do the same thing tomorrow, so in that sense, I know how to think now, in the final group on the weekend, and whether I have the lead or not, it really doesn't matter, I'm just going to go out and play my game and add up the score at the end, and hopefully I'll be the top guy."
Being in the final round should garner Michael a lot of television coverage on the Golf Channel, when the McGladrey is on the air which is from 2:00pm-5:00pm ET.  As usual, we've got all the links you'll need to follow on-line.

Earlier today the Shot Tracker data was ahead of the television coverage by a bit, which means either the "live" coverage wasn't really live or those Shot Tracker guys are REALLY good psychics!  So if you want to "see" what happens on TV without knowing what is about to happen, you might want to avoid Shot Tracker.  I'm just saying...



Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker
Michael on Shot Tracker
Live Projected Money List

Nice Article Over at Pro Golf Insider


Eddie Garrison over at Pro Golf Insider did a very nice blog earlier this evening.  He's the first writer this week to reference Michael's tweet early in the week indicating he liked his chances at this Sea Island course so he's been paying attention.  Good job Eddie!  Click on the picture above and you'll be linked directly to the article.  It's worth the read.

ESPN Interview With Michael Thompson

ESPN's Michael Collins interviews Michael Thompson after round 3 at the McGladrey Classic.

Thompson poised, ready for Sunday


by Roz Roberts III

The Tour Report on PGATour.com posted a nice article on Michael earlier tonight.   Click on the image above to link directly to the PGA's website or read the article here:

By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Michael Thompson was worried about staying focused on the task at hand and maintaining his position prior to the third round of the McGladrey Classic.

He held up his end Saturday and saw his opponent succumb to one costly mistake on the back nine, giving him the 54-hole lead at Sea Island.

The 2010 q-school graduate and Hooters Tour Player of the Year parred every hole on the back nine and took over the lead when his groupmate, Billy Horschel, suffered a double bogey on the par-4 16th. He now stands 18 holes away from his first victory on the PGA TOUR.

“A bogey-free round today on Saturday is always a good thing, no matter where I stand,” Thompson said. “To have the lead going into tomorrow is very exciting. All in all, a great day. I’m just very, very excited about tomorrow. I’m going to learn a lot and I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Thompson’s even-par back nine wasn’t all smooth sailings. On the par-4 14th, he pulled his tee shot to the left and missed his second shot 27 yards right of the green near the cart path. After taking relief, Thompson blasted his third shot just inside 10 feet and proceeded to drain the putt and keep his run of pars intact.

“That was a critical moment in terms of keeping up the momentum,” Thompson said. “I kind of felt like I got away with one there… I was kind of losing my tee shots a bit on the back nine and I got into trouble where I normally shouldn’t have been. To be able to play under that pressure, now I know I can do it.”

Thompson almost broke out of his birdie drought on No. 18 but his attempt from 11 feet away just missed.
“That was one of the best putts I hit all day,” Thompson said. “I hit that so solid, looked like it was going in the hole about a foot out, and I don’t know, something yanked it left. Just one of those things where you hit a good putt, be happy about it. If it goes in, great; if not, not the end of the world.”

The week goes on tomorrow as Thompson, an Alabama graduate, and former Florida Gator Horschel will renew their SEC rivalry Sunday when they play in the final pairing for the second consecutive day. Thompson hopes the comfort of golfing again with a friend of his will help him on Sunday.

“We had a great time out there,” he said. “We were talking a lot. We were laughing. It was just like playing at your country club on a Saturday. It really made me feel comfortable going out there and playing with a buddy of mine … I’m just going to go out there, play my game and add up the score at the end and hopefully I’ll be the top guy.”

Post Round Interview With Michael Thompson


video
This interview came from Golf Central on the Golf Channel after 
Michael Thompson's third round at the McGladrey Classic.  Enjoy!

PGA Tour's McGladrey Round 3 Recap

Sean Martin Features Thompson in His "5 Things" Column




Sean Martin of GolfWeek.com (one of the ThompsonTide's favorite golf writers) had a nice piece on Michael as part of his "5 Things" column.  Click on the picture to read the whole article.  Here's an excerpt:


ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Even the caddies were confused. While waiting for the fairway to clear on the Seaside Course’s seventh hole, Michael Thompson’s looper started digging around a Ping staff bag.
“Wrong bag,” Billy Horschel said with a laugh. Thompson’s caddie had taken a wrong turn while searching for a supplement to add to Thompson’s water bottle.

Thompson and Horschel, who were paired in the McGladrey Classic’s final pairing Saturday, have their share of similarities. Only one player can win the McGladrey Classic, though. The two SEC alums will play in the final group again Sunday. Thompson, 26, and Horschel, 24, are both PGA Tour rookies who share a sponsor and won the SEC Championship at nearby Frederica.

“We’re just two young guys having fun on the PGA Tour,” Thompson said. “It was just like playing your country club on a Saturday. It made me feel comfortable.”

• • •
1.) Tide Rolling: Thompson will start Sunday with the first 54-hole lead of his career. He’s at 13-under 197 (65-65-67) and one shot ahead of Horschel, who shot even-par 70 on Saturday. A high finish will also lock up Thompson’s card for 2012. He’s 116th on the money list with $663,265.

A year ago this week, the Alabama grad was winning a Hooters Tour event in rival territory Auburn, Ala., in preparation for Q-School.

Thompson, runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur, turned pro in 2008 after earning low-amateur honors at the U.S. Open (T-29). He slumped in his first pro season, and had to spend the 2009 and 2010 seasons on the Hooters Tour. He was last year’s Hooters Tour player of the year before graduating from Q-School.
As Thompson was talking to agents in preparation for his pro career, one told him he’d have to hit the ball higher to compete on the PGA Tour.

“That one quote, it totally changed my whole outlook on the game of golf and how I was going to go about playing it,” he said. “I changed my whole swing.

“I worked on shallowing out my swing. I used to come in really steep, take deep divots. I was working on casting the club, releasing my hands early. That caused my impact to change dramatically. I felt like I was sweeping the ball, instead of compressing it. For me, that brought in a duck hook. That duck hook produced a fear of hitting it left, and then I started hitting it all over the place.”

Thompson even briefly considered quitting the game during one poor stretch in 2009.

“I told myself, ‘There’s no point. This is miserable,’ ” Thompson said. “My family, my coach, my friends, my girlfriend (now wife), everyone encouraged me to keep going, and I knew this is always what I wanted to do in the long run.”
• • •


Third Round 67 Gives Thompson 54 Hole Lead

Click on the image above to see the original Tour Report post.
by Roz Roberts III
Michael Thompson is in a place he hasn't been before. He's the leader in a PGA Tour event after 54 holes.   Although it may be new territory, his whole 2011 PGA season has been leading up to this.  He's been in the final group on Saturday before (at the RBC Canadian Open) but he was unable to maintain his position through "moving day".  Since then he's learned a few things and found his comfort zone out on Tour.   This weekend at the McGladrey Classic, not only did Michael play solid in the final group, he actually took the lead late in the day.  After entering today's second round in second place behind Billy Horschel, Michael shot a three under par 67 posting three birdies on the front nine and scoring 9 consecutive pars on the back nine. The round was good enough to give him a one shot lead at -13 for the tournament.

Michael's fourth round will begin at 1:15pm ET and he will once again be paired with Billy Horschel.

There will be sure to be many new articles and posts on the internet featuring Michael over the next 24 hours and we'll be posting links or excerpts from them as they become available.   Stay tuned.

Thompson Keeps His Card Clean With Great Par

After a wayward drive off the tee putt Michael Thompson into the "native area" and his subsequent iron shot found some more "native area", Michael faced his greatest challenge to keeping his card bogey free in the third round of the McGladrey Classic.

Are You Ready For Some Golf? - Watch The Round 3 Preview





Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Live Projected Money List
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker
Michael on Shot Tracker

Friday, October 14, 2011

Michael Makes It to the Top of the Leaderboard





by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson had another stellar round today, in windy conditions that made scores generally lower.  He matched his first round 65 with a second round 65 to get to -10 overall.  With his early tee time, he was the clubhouse leader for much of the day until Billy Horschel finally bested Michael's overall score by 2 strokes to get to -12. Fighting his way through the wind, Michael had two bogeys early on, but eventually found his groove scoring 5 birdies and an eagle on the par 5-15th hole.

He got a lot of media attention today as a result of making it to the top of the leaderboard.  He was interviewed in the media room (read the transcript here), and was interviewed by ESPN's Michael Collins.  Collins is an ESPN commentator/part time caddie (@funnycaddy and @ESPNcaddie on twitter) who actually worked for Michael at the Barclays.  In the interview you can see that they had a good rapport together from that experience.

Michael will be in the final grouping tomorrow with Billy Horschel, teeing off at 1:10 EST.  The final two rounds will be televised on the Golf Channel.


Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Live Projected Money List
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker
Micahel on Shot Tracker

Images from Round 2 at the McGladrey Classic

by Roz Roberts III

The photo gallery for round two of the McGladrey Classic on PGATour.com features four photos of Michael Thompson (out of the eight images posted).

McGladrey Round Two Slideshow

Slick Interview from ESPN


Michael Collins from ESPN interviews Michael Thompson after his second round 65 at the McGladrey Classic.

Second Straight 65 Vaults Thompson Into the Lead

by Roz Roberts III

For the second day in a row, Michael Thompson posted a five under par 65 at the McGladrey Classic.  The pair of 65's has him in the lead at -10 with the afternoon rounds just underway.  Michael's solid play has garnered some attention on PGATour.com in their Tour Report Section.

Links to the original Tour Report posts can be found here:

Thompson's return well worth the wait

Thompson posts at 10 under
Morning update:  Thompson now ahead

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Great First Round at the McGladrey Classic


video
Michael Thompson Birdies #13 during round 1 of the McGladrey Classic
by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson got off to a great start today in Sea Island, Georgia.  He had a bogey-free round posting a 5 under par 65 in the opening round of the McGladrey Classic.  The round was hilighted by two putts from beyond 15' for birdies as well as a great sand save on the 18th hole to preserve the flawless scorecard. He ended up tied for sixth along with nine other players.  He got some good television today as well, as you can see in the clip above.

He tees off tomorrow at 7:50 EST.


Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group Shottracker
Michael's Shottracker
Live Projected Money List

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Next Up On The Fall Series: The McGladrey Classic



The Seaside Course is located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island in Georgia. 

The second to last tournament of the year, the McGladrey Classic starts tomorrow at the Seaside Course at Sea Island, Georgia.  The competition will be tough as many of the top name players will be returning this week after not taking part in the first two events of the Fall Series.  Michael tees off at 12:20 EST along with Tag Ridings and Vaughn Taylor.  He'll be starting the week off at #116 on the money list.  Good luck Michael!

Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group Shottracker
Michael's Shottracker
Live Projected Money List

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Favorable Final Round at Frys

by Randy Roberts


Michael scored another round at 3 under par on the final day at the Frys.com Open.  With the final round he moved up 12 spots on the leaderboard to finish tied for 35th.  He's now made the cut in 9 of his last 11 starts, a streak that began with his 4th place finish at the Traveler's Championship at the end of June.  He earned another $23,000 that will count towards his official money list standings, where he now stands at 116th.  There's two more tournaments left in the season, and if he can stay at 125th or better he will automatically earn a PGA Tour Card for next year and bypass the entire Q School process.

On tap this week is a cross-country flight to Georgia as the PGA Tour season finishes up in the south: Sea Island, Georgia this week and Disneyworld, FL the next.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Heading to the Finish Line At The Frys.com Open

CordeValle Golf Course in San Martin, CA (a few miles south of San Jose)
by Randy Roberts

Michael had an early tee time this morning, that then got delayed due to fog at the CordeValle Golf Club.  He needed to finish the last few holes from the second round which had been cut short due to lack of daylight.  He finished the second round with one over par, for an overall score of even par.  After a short break, he then went on to play his third round which he finished at three under par (-3 overall).  Michael came in tied for 48th.

On Sunday, he'll have a 2007 US Amateur Reunion with Colt Knost, who he lost to in the US Amateur finals which took place right up the road in San Francisco.  Knost, who turned professional after his win at the 2007 US Amateur went on to play the 2008-2009 season on the PGA Tour.  The following year he played on the Nationwide Tour finishing in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour's money list, thus earning his PGA Tour Card for this year.  In all he's earned $594,000 on the Nationwide Tour (including two wins) and $481,000 on the PGA Tour.
Michael will be reunited on the golf course Sunday
with Colt Knost, who he played in the finals of the 2007 US Amateur
Michael and Colt will be joined by Marc Leishman starting at 10:50 on the 10th tee.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Building Momentum at the Frys.com Open

Michael scored a birdie on the par 5, 15th today
by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson finished his first round at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California scoring a one under par, 70. After getting off to a slow start with three bogeys on the front nine, he turned the momentum in his favor, scoring four birdies on the back nine.  The -1 overall score was good for a tie for 25th.  A mere three shots behind the leaders, Michael is in good position to make a run for the top of the leaderboard in his start tomorrow.  Michael tees off at 12:40 PM PST with Richard S. Johnson and co-leader Briny Baird.

All four rounds will be televised on The Golf Channel 1-4pm PST.

Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group on Shottracker
Michael on Shottracker


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Fall Series Continues at the Frys.com Open


by Randy Roberts


Play is set to begin Thursday at the Frys.com Open, the second of four tournaments comprising the Fall Series.  Including this tournament, there are 3 more chances for players to improve their position on the money list (Michael is at #113) and earn a Tour Card for next year.  There's some additional interest in the Frys.com Open due to the return of Tiger Woods after taking several months off to rehab an injury.

Michael will be teeing off at 8:20 PST along with Briny Baird and Richard S. Johnson.

All four rounds will be televised on The Golf Channel 1-4pm PST.

Here's all the usual links to follow Michael at the Frys.com Open

Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's Group on Shottracker
Michael on Shottracker

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MDF?



JT Shriners Open - Round 3 Recap
by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson finished in an unusual spot after the third round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open.  He ended up at -3 overall and with the "Made Cut Did Not Finish" (MDF) classification. Due to this status, he will not get to play the fourth and final round tomorrow.  He will take home a paycheck, and if the FedEx Cup season was still going, he would have earned additional FedEx cup points too.

The MDF classification was created to keep the number of players down to a reasonable number in order for there to be a timely finish for television on the final day.  The normal cut occurs after the second round and is the top 70 players plus ties.  Yesterday, there were 12 players who finished T-68 like Michael, meaning there were a total of 80 players playing in today's third round.  In order to ensure a more predictable finish time for television, when there are 78 or more players making the initial cut, they do another cut to the top 70 plus ties after the third round.  Since Michael finished the 3rd round in what would have been 75th place, he ended up as "MDF".  There were five other players who finished worse than Michael and they finished as MDF as well.  The upside of MDF is that unlike the first cut, the players still get paid, the downside is that they don't get another chance to improve their position.

Thus, Michael walks away with an additional $8360 which still counts toward the official money list, and a rare sunday off even though he made the cut.

Leaderboard
Scorecard
Live Projected Money List

Sunday Update: With the finish of the tournament, we now know that Michael stayed at 113th on the money list.

Sources: Answers.yahoo.com, PGATour.com, ESPN.com