Michael Thompson had one great rookie season on the PGA Tour in 2011. Along the way there were a lot of great golfing moments and great golf shots. We've paired down the list to our top five (plus one) of the year.
Honorable Mention: JT Shriners Open - Hole 14 - Closest to the Pin
Although I have been unable to find video of this shot, it was the most exciting shot I saw in person. On the 156 yard Par 3 14th at TPC Summerlin, Michael's tee shot landed 7 inches from the hole. He was "Closest to the pin" for that hole all week.
5. Almost Hole in One During Round 1 of the Viking Classic
Our #5 Top Moment of the season came from the first round of the Viking Classic where Michael went flag hunting. My favorite part of this video is from the audio in the background where someone calls "drinks for everybody." Unfortunately, the ball didn't cooperate but it was still a heck of a shot!
4. The "Epiphany" - Have Faith, Let Go
Our number 4 moment didn't even happen on a golf course. It happened in the brave new world of the "Twiiterverse". After missing the cut at the Fedex St. Jude Classic (his 5th missed cut in 6 PGA Tour events), Michael Tweeted the following:
"For those of you who might be freaking out about my missing cuts, do not fret. I had an epiphany today and I promise there is better golf to come!"Exactly what the epiphany was has been unknown: was it something to do with his swing, a new diet, going to bed earlier? With his wife Rachel's new blog, some new insight can be gleamed into what the epiphany was about: relying on a higher power.
"He realized ... that he was trying too hard to play well and not just letting whatever was meant to happen...happen. Michael realized that he had forgotten about God and was trying to figure it all out himself. When Michael was able to give his life up to God and let God lead him in the direction of His plan (not Michael's, not Rachel's, not anyone else's), all the daily stress of the tour was completely taken away..."The very next week he had his first breakout tournament of the year and our #3 Top Moment.
FYI: You can read more of Rachel's blog over at "Thompson Squared On The PGA Tour"
3. 62 In the Final Round at the Traveler's Championship
An amazing final round 62 at the Traveler's Championship propelled Michael up the leaderboard and was good enough for a fourth place finish. It was Michael's first top 5 performance of the year and moved him up the re-shuffle list which allowed him to play in more tournaments as the year went on. Here's Michael's final birdie on hole #18 which moved him into the clubhouse lead on Sunday.
2. McGladrey Classic (Birdies on 4, 5, and 6 Vault Thompson Into the Lead on Sunday)
Our #2 top moment was really our top tournament of the year. It came at the end of the season at the McGladrey Classic where Michael grabbed the lead in the final round after three consecutive birdies on the front nine. Here's the third of the three at hole number 6. Michael secured his 2012 PGA Tour card with his second top 5 performance of the year and his highest finish (third place).
1. Last round of Q School - 40' eagle putt to secure 2011 PGA Tour Card
Finally, our top shot of the year was the one that began it all. A 40 foot eagle putt to earn a 2011 PGA Tour card. 'Nuff said!