Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thompson Takes Advantage of the Par 5's

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Michael Thompson of the United States plays his shot from the first tee during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)


by Roz Roberts III

The general rule of thumb to succeed at the Masters is to score well on Augusta National's quartet of par five holes.  Michael Thompson did just that in round one where he scored four under par on the quartet of par fives including an eagle on the 13th hole called Azalea.  

At the end of the day, Michael shot a solid par 72 which has him tied for 13th after the first 18 holes.  He kept the ball in play all day by hitting 11 of 14 fairways and scrambling well when he needed it.

In addition to gaining two strokes on par, Michael's eagle on 13 earns him two crystal glasses.  The pair will go nicely with the pair he won in 2013 (the last time he competed in the Masters).

Michael will be paired with Hudson Swafford again in round two (one of only two groups consisting of  merely two players).  The tee off at 11:06 am EDT.


Online Links

If you haven't been over to the masters.com site yet you should check it out.  If you select Michael on the leaderboard it will bring up a detailed scorecard which includes video of every one of Michael's shots. 


Photos


Hudson Swafford and Michael Thompson walk over the Hogan Bridge with their caddies on the No. 12 hole during Round 1 of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 8, 2021.  Chris Trotman, Augusta National



Michael Thompson acknowledges patrons on the No. 2 green during Round 1 of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 8, 2021.  Sam Greenwood, Augusta National


Michael Thompson and caddie Damian Lopez on the No. 1 hole during Round 1 of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 8, 2021.  Hunter Martin, Augusta National

Slide Show
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Articles

Swafford, Thompson Shake Nerves for Solid Rounds


Videos


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Return to the Masters

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Michael Thompson of the United States plays his shot from the 12th tee during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

 by Roz Roberts III

This is a big week if you follow golf.  It's an even bigger week for Michael Thompson.  

It's Masters Week and Michael Thompson is returning to Augusta for the first time in eight years.  The crowds might be a littler smaller than usual due to COVID restrictions but the greens will be just as fast and the azaleas should be in full bloom.

Following Michael at the Masters from your favorite online device should be fairly easy since there are live streams that cover most of the course and this year you can build a video channel called My Group. Masters.com claims it will show you every shot from your favorited players.  Ideally you should be able to select Michael as a favorite player from the leaderboard and he will show up in your My Group channel  (see the picture below with the favorite selection star shown circled in red).  You can use the links in the "Online Links" section to help you navigate.




If you are going to follow Michael live on Thursday you'll have to be up early since Michael and playing partner Hudson Swafford are the first group off the tee Thursday morning at 8:00am EDT.  That should make for pristine conditions on the greens and for ideal conditions for all those Michael fans on-site in Augusta trying to follow his round.


Online Links


Photo Slideshow

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Strong Finish Propels Thompson Into Top Five

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LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: Michael Thompson plays his shot on the 16th hole during the final round of The American Express tournament on the Stadium course at PGA West. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

 

by Roz Roberts III

For the second time in three years, Michael Thompson finished with a top ten at the American Express in La Quinta California.  This year, a six under par 66 netted a tie for 5th place.  

Michael has run his streak of top 25 finished to four tournaments in a row and he is now 44 under par in 2021.  In fact, he is par or better in every round on tour in 2021.  His streak of strong finishes has him up to 63rd in the Fedexcup standings.  He will take this week's Farmers Insurance Open off and will get ready for the Waste Management Open in Phoenix two weeks from now where he will look to keep the momentum going.



Saturday, January 23, 2021

Thompson Brings Some Aloha to the Desert

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LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: Michael Thompson lines up his shot on the 12th hole during the second round of The American Express tournament on the Stadium course at PGA West. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

 

by Roz Roberts III

After a successful Hawaii swing, Michael Thompson has brought that aloha spirit back to California as he's been competing in this week's American Express in La Quinta.  Michael finished his two tournament stop in Hawaii with back to back top 25 finishes and he' started strong at the American Express where he is currently tied for 25th heading into Sunday's final round.

Michael has been playing superbly consistent golf in 2021.  Nine out of his 11 rounds in 2021 have been in the 60's and all 11 rounds have been par or better.  He is also six for six in cuts made in the 2020/2021 season with three consecutive top 25 finishes.   He will look to extend that streak to four consecutive top 25's tomorrow.






Saturday, November 7, 2020

No Problem in Houston for Thompson in Round Three

Embed from Getty Images HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 07: Michael Thompson plays his shot from the first tee during the third round of the Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

 by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson finished strong in round three at the Vivint Houston Open making birdies on three of his final five holes.  He finished the third round with a three under par 67 matching his round one score.  He is currently tied for 8th at four under par for the tournament.

Michael will once again be grouped with Hideki Matsuyama for Sunday's final round (they played together in the first two rounds).  They will be joined by Dawie van der Walt.  The group tees off from the first hole at 9:38 AM local Houston time.

Video


Michael makes his birdie put on the 18th hole during the third round of the Vivint Houston Open


Online Links


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Tired of Election Coverage? Watch Some Golf!

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 HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Michael Thompson plays his shot from the eighth tee during the first round of the Vivint Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson has a spectacular first round Thursday at the Vivint Houston Open.  He shot a three under par 67 and is tied for second heading into Friday's second round.   His round was propelled by excellent driving accurancy, where he hit 10 of 13 fairways which was tied for fourth, and his putting, where he gained nearly 3 shots in strokes gained putting (9th) .  He made six birdies which is tied for the most in round one.

This year's Hoston Open is being played on a new golf course for the tournament.  The Memorial Park Golf Course presents an unfamiliar challenge to most of the 136 players competing this week.  The course normally plays as a par 72 but two of the par fives were converted to par fours for the tournament.

Michael tees off on Friday at 10:05 AM PT (12:05 PM local Houston time) with playing partners Hideki Matsuyama and Grayson Murray.  They will tee off from the first hole.

Video

Michael Thompson’s nice tee shot on hole #9 leads to birdie at Vivint Houston Open


Online Links

Friday, September 18, 2020

Winged Foot Bites Back



 by Roz Roberts III

Winged Foot fought back on Friday producing a decidely more US Open like feel.  In fact, only three golfers shot under par on Friday as oppsed to the 21 in yesterday's opening round.  Michael Thompson was not immune to the carnage doled out by Winged Foot after he shot a five over par 75.  Despite the much higher score, Michael comfotably made the cut and is currently tied for 33rd.  In fact, 75 was the average score on the day.

Michael  continued his highlight package from the sand when he holed out from the short sided green side bunker on #12.  Here is the video:  Michael's birdie on #12

Michael will be playing with Bernd Wiesberger in Saturday's third round.  They tee off at 11:07AM ET.


Online Links



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thompson Duels Winged Foot to a Draw

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U.S. Open - Round One MAMARONECK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Michael Thompson of the United States plays a shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 

 by Roz Roberts III

Winged Foot Golf Club hasn't showed its teeeth - yet.  Thursday's first round of the US Open had near perfevt conditions and softer than expected greens that allowed the world class field to score much better than anticipated.  Michael Thompson, depite having a poor day putting, managed to fight for a par 70.  Michael birdied his final two holes of the day to climb back to even par after spending most of the day in black numbers.  After finishing with a par (70) Michael is tied for 22nd.

As the greens dry out Winged Foot should play much more difficult over the next three rounds.

Michael will once again be playinog with with Andrew Putnam and Chesson Hadley in the second round.  They tee off Firday at 7:12am.  They will be the third group off the first tee.

Videos

Michael continued his summer of making highlights out of bunkers during round one of the US Open:

Michael Chips in for Birdie on Hole #3


Online Links



Pictures


Embed from Getty Images 
U.S. Open - Round One MAMARONECK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Michael Thompson of the United States talks with his caddie (Damian Lopez) on the 11th hole during the first round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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U.S. Open - Round One MAMARONECK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Michael Thompson  during the first round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

US Open Takes Flight at Winged Foot

Michael Thompson made his USGA debut at Winged Foot in the 2004 U.S. Amateur and immediately fell in love with the venue. (Robert Beck/USGA)


 by Roz Roberts III

This year's US Open starts tomorrow at Michael Thompson's favorite course:  Winged Foot in Mamaroneck,  NY.  Lucky for us, Michael will be competing in what should be a typically difficult test of golf.  The rough is up and is ready to devour wayward tee shots.  Most players think a score of par or maybe even higher will win this year's US Open.  We'll find out when the field tees off tomorrow.

Michael is grouped with Andrew Putnam and Chesson Hadley for the first two rounds.  They tee off from the tenth hole tomorrow at 12:32pm.

US Open preview with Michael


Online Links



Michael Instagram Posts




D-Lo's Instagram Posts (Michael's Caddy)







Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Push to the Finals


 by Roz Roberts III

After his win at the 3M Open, Michael Thompson's goals for the 2019-2020 season changed.  One of his new goals was to reach the PGA Tour Finals.  Only the top 30 golfers on the FedexCup points list make it to Eastlake.  Michael currently sits in 51st place heading into this week's BMW Championship.  Michael will need a strong finish to vault inside the top 30 (most likely inside the top 10).  The BMW Champonship is a no cut event so Michael will get four full rounds to make things happen.

For the first two rounds, Michael will be playing with Jason Day and Taylor Gooch.  They tee off from the fist hole at 11:20am PT.

Online Links

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Better Late Than Never


by Roz Roberts III

It's August and the PGA Tour is about to launch the first major of the year:  the PGA Championship.  These are strange times.  Along with everything else in America, the ongoing COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc with the PGA Tour schedule.  But the delay has worked in Michael Thompson's favor.  After his victory at the 3M Open, he is now eligible for this week's PGA Championship and the US Open in September.

This week's PGA Championship will be played at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.  The course is just across Lake Merced from the Olympic Club where Michael finished second in both the US Amateur and the US Open.   The whether is expected to be damp and cool, typical for the summer in the Bay Area.

Michael will be grouped with Ryan Palmer and Kevin Kisner for the first two rounds.  They tee off at 7:44am PT from the first hole on Thursday.



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thompson's WGC Press Conference

by Roz Roberts III

I finally found a full copy of Michael's press conference from the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational and here it is.  Below the video is a complete transcript since some of the questions are hard to hear.

Enjoy!





PRE-TOURNAMENT INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
July 29, 2020
MICHAEL THOMPSON
JACK RYAN: We would like to welcome Michael Thompson into the interview room at the
World Golf Championship's FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Michael qualified for the event by
winning last week's 3M Open, his second win on the PGA TOUR and first in over seven
years.
Michael, welcome. And what have those last few days been like over those last few days?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Well, a little bit sleepless nights still, reliving the moment every
chance I get. So still very excited. Today's kind of the first day I've started to shift my focus
towards this week's event and what I need to do to prepare, thinking about the games and
the drills that I'm going to do on the putting green and chipping around this golf course, I
think is going to be key, and then I'm going to put in some TrackMan work on the range later
this afternoon. I've got my mind right, I think, today.
JACK RYAN: And you made a big jump in the FedExCup standings, up to the top-40 now.
What did that win do for you in terms of changing your goals for the rest of the season as we
get closer to the FedExCup Playoffs, with just three weeks remaining?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, I now believe that I can be consistently in the Top 30 every
year on the PGA TOUR, and I have my best opportunity to make East Lake for the TOUR
Championship. Those are my goals now, is to make East Lake, potentially give myself a
couple more chances to win would be ideal, and just continue to go play Michael Thompson
golf. I don't feel like I need to do anything different. It's just go play, have fun, try to make as
many putts as I can and enjoy the ride.
Q. Michael, Justin Parsons has gotten a lot of credit for turning around Harris
English's game this season. You gave him credit in your post-victory press
conference. What exactly have you guys worked on especially to get the iron play to
where it was last week?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: He's helped me to kind of rediscover the old feels that I had back
in college and back in Q-School, 2010, where the shot shape that I always like to play
growing up was kind of a low fade and felt like my iron play was always really good back
then. So the goals this year were to make my putting stand out as well as my iron play. Last
week was a perfect example of that. I feel like I also drove the ball well last week, but I'm not
the longest hitter in the world, so for me it's just all about hitting fairways and then getting it
on the green as fast as possible. But he's really good at helping me find the little feels that
create the proper ball flight. He's given me just so much confidence to believe that the
unique move that I do through the ball is good enough, good enough to be world class.
That's really just helped my confidence.
Q. Michael, I want it noted that the old guy figured out technology and the young guy
did not figure out technology.
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Way to go, Rex.
Q. I think if I did this math right, I think you played every event except for two since
the restart, obviously adding this event. Will you make any adjustments going
forward? And is it kind of a concern of yours that you're going to end up playing
every week if you keep going like this?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, I made one adjustment, which really is a bummer, because
I like this event. I'm not going to play Wyndham now, just because I've played so much. I
was planning on having PGA Championship week off. And so before the FedExCup, I think
I'm going to need a week off. And that, unfortunately, just falls at the perfect time for me.
That will be the one adjustment that I make right now. I'm considering my options also for
the U.S. Open. I'm not quite sure what that's going to entail. It kind of depends on how far I
make it in the FedExCup. But that's all I've decided right now.
Q. And just listening to your interview on Sunday, is it safe to say that this victory
was more emotional than maybe one you had before; and why so? If you would
explain that.
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Absolutely. And the simple answer is because I have kids now. I
have so much more to play for now than I did back in 2013. Not taking anything away from
that win at Honda, but this one, it just means so much more to -- for me to try to be the role
model that I want to be for my son and for my daughter and show them what it's like to work
hard and have success and to win on a big stage and what that all means. I think that's the
reason why I was so emotional on Sunday.
Q. Hey, Michael, congratulations. What was it like celebrating victory on Sunday?
And just how much time -- is the family -- have they decided to come here this week,
or how have you celebrated and what has it been like so far?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, my family's actually coming in today. They're flying in this
afternoon, and so we're going to celebrate tonight but with some cupcakes with my son. He's
all excited about that.
Then Sunday night, I actually had a really great time with my caddie, Damian Lopez, aka
D-Lo, what everybody calls him out here, and then also had a really great surprise that
Johnson Wagner and Brian Reed, who caddies for Kyle Stanley, and Joe Etter, who was
caddying for Johnson, they all came back to the golf course during my last couple holes and
stuck around that night, and we all had a couple drinks and the golf course put out some
sliders. We just sat there, told stories, and really enjoyed each other's company. So it was fun to get to celebrate it with somebody, and for those guys to stick around really meant a
lot.
Q. Is there someone that you heard from or said something to you, reached out to
you that really meant a lot to you since the victory?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah. Actually, yesterday Nick Saban actually gave me a call and
I got to talk to him. He was very proud of my accomplishment, the way I played and the way
I carried myself and what that means for the Alabama community. He was gracious enough
to give me that phone call. He also told me that he wouldn't want to have to hit that wedge
shot on the last hole. He was excited that I pulled that off.
And then also Jerry Pate called me as well yesterday. It was nice to get to talk to two great
representatives from the University of Alabama. It means a lot that they're paying attention
and staying up with the golf world.
Q. TPC Southwind annually ranks near one of those top courses in water balls. When
you're thinking about the element of water, what are your strategies going into the
week?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Don't hit it in it. Yeah, that's one of those courses, kind of like the
Honda, really where you have to plot your way around the golf course and really avoid all the
hazards. I think growing up in Tucson and playing 49ers Country Club, where I grew up
playing, and the municipal golf course, Fred Enke, are two golf courses where I really had to
learn to plot my way around a golf course and only be aggressive when I felt like I could or
needed to or if I was playing well. So I think those past experiences and time spent on those
kinds of places really helped me with both my wins, because both these wins are on golf
courses that I didn't necessarily think I would win on but have proven to me that I can play
on any golf course, because I've won these tournaments. I'm really -- I think that gives me
confidence and gives me a lot of excitement going forward, because I know I can play well
on any golf course.
Q. Seven years is such a long time. Was there a low point for you where you felt like
you might not get back to the winner's circle?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Not really. I think -- I actually think the win in Boise really helped a
lot to prove to me that I could win on any stage, and to do that in one of those four Finals
events on the Korn Ferry Tour, to me, that was really big in terms of confidence and knowing
that I can win again.
Granted, you know, in between all that time there was a lot of lows, because there were
times where I just felt confused by my golf swing and where the ball was going and just a
real lack of trust in that. Thankfully, my putter never wavered, I never changed anything with
putting. That confidence still stayed very, very high. So I think that's what carried me
through. I think the win in Boise was paramount to maintaining my confidence that I could still play and still compete with the best.
Q. You and Webb have both shown that you don't have to be the longest of hitters to
win out here on Tour, but how hard is it when you're giving up 20, 30 yards
sometimes to guys?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, it makes us have to be that much more precise with our iron
play and with our accuracy. We don't have the luxury of being able to miss many fairways or
miss many greens. If we do, we have to be magicians to make sure that we don't make
worse than par. I think it definitely puts a little bit more pressure, but at the same time, like
that's just my game. I'm not putting any more or any less effort into my golf swing than, say,
Brooks Koepka is. He just has the ability to hit it further. So for me, I'm doing everything I
can in order to play great golf. And there's always going to be a way for me to get around a
golf course that will produce a number similar to those guys. At the end of the day, guys can
hit it 330, 340, and have a wedge into a par-4, but if I hit it in there close with a 6-iron and
they hit it in there close with a wedge, we've still got to make the putts. To me, the end score
is all that matters and it doesn't really matter how you do it.
Q. You mentioned the rough. This was one of the toughest courses in proximity
within 125 yards from the rough. What's tough about hitting wedge shots out of this
kind of Bermuda?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Well, anything can happen. You can catch a lot of the flyers, which
takes spin off as well as, if the ball's sitting down, it can come out just really dead. So it's just
really hard to judge how the ball's going to react off the clubface. Any time there's doubt like
that in a professional golfer's mind, that's when golf becomes difficult, because there's
options, right? We can use different clubs and try to hit different shots. And on top of that,
some of these greens are pretty small, so the landing area in order to get it close or just get
it on the green is not very big. It just makes you think, and I think that's what makes it
difficult.
Q. Michael, you mentioned Brooks and your struggles. When you see a guy that has
accomplished as much as he has the last couple years and his struggles right now,
what does that say about the difficulty of this game and how nobody's immune from
the ups and downs?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, I think that's what -- that's the beauty of this game, is
everybody's going to have their own struggles and everybody's going to have their own
journey through professional golf. I feel like I'm blooming rather late, but at the same time,
10 years ago the peak performance for most guys was in their 30s and early 40s. To me, I'm
no different than anybody else. Ernie Els struggled with his putting for the last few years.
Things change over time. Our eyes change, our bodies change, the feels that we have
change. The only thing that doesn't change is the game of golf. You've still got to hit the
shots and you've still got to make the putts. It's just something we all go through. Hopefully,
it's not a period that's going to be too long for him. It was fairly long for me, but at the same time I'm better because of it on the back end. I think that's what makes this game so
intriguing, is just it's so similar to life and the ups and downs to life that it really tests our
reaction to it and our attitude. And I think those guys who are the most positive and have the
best perspective end up coming out on top at the end.
JACK RYAN: Thanks, Michael. We appreciate the time. Best of luck this week.
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Thank you. Appreciate you guys.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

From Tahoe to Memphis

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson had to make some changes to his travel plans this week.  He was originally scheduled to play in the Barracuda Championship in Lake Tahoe but his win last week qualified him to play in the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.

The WGC event has no cut and 45 of the top 50 golfers in OWGR competing.   The strong field will take on TPC Southwind which is known for its water hazards and relatively small greens.


Michael tees off on Thursday at 12:10 pm ET with Billy Horschel and Sung Kang,

ONLINE LINKS
Leaderboard
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on TourCast 3D

Michael Thompson Interviewed on Crimson Live

Monday, July 27, 2020

In the Aftermath of Win #2

by Roz Roberts III and Randy Roberts

A day after Michael's second PGA Tour victory, the ThompsonTide guys are still scouring the Internet for all things Michael Thompson and we're posting them here on ThompsonTide.  We added to the "Victory" post over time but we thought it was time to post the newer material in a new post plus we've added some of our own thoughts.

CLOSING THE DEAL
Michael has had the 54 hole lead or share of the lead three times.  In those three events he has two wins and one 3rd place finish.

AUDIO

Michael's friend, college teammate. and one time caddie Matt Hughes appeared on Travis Reier's Southern Fried Sports show on Monday.  You can listen to his interview here.
Matt Hughes on Souther Fried Sports with Travis Reier

ARTICLES
From the Archives: Michael Thompson Chose Golf Career On His Own With His Natural Talent

How this pro pulled off ‘the shot of the year’ in golf

VIDEOS

We posted this message from Michael in our last post but in case you missed it here it is again...








PHOTOS
A few posts from Damian Lopez (Michael's caddie):






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