Monday, June 16, 2008

Tucsonan makes TV replays with 22-foot birdie

 Tucsonan makes TV replays with 22-foot birdie
 by Bryan Lee on Jun. 16, 2008
“Just having fun,” was the theme of Tucsonan Michael Thompson and Rocco Mediate, although the stakes were quite a bit more serious for Mediate Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Thompson was serious enough, though, to claim low amateur honors and a tie for 29th place at Torrey Pines, Calif.
The University High School graduate posted five birdies and a 1-over-par 72 on Sunday.
“I took a lot from this,” Thompson said in a telephone interview. “Playing with the pros was a lot of fun and I was just enjoying everything, but what I learned is going to really help me.”
Thompson made a 22-foot putt for a birdie on the 11th hole – which got national TV-replay – to key his effort Sunday on the difficult South course during an up-and-down final day.
“I played steady and I played that way for the whole tournament except for the starts,” he said. “My putting was on (Sunday). The pin placements were fairly easy and we expected the greens to be hardened but they were soft.”
Thompson played with Mediate, who will compete in an 18-hole playoff Monday against Tiger Woods for the U.S. Open title.
Thompson will play in the Traveler’s Championship in Connecticut next week and the Palmer Cup in Scotland as an amateur before turning pro on the Nationwide Tour on July 24.
“I’m hoping for a few exemptions in PGA events before Q (qualifying) school in September,” he said.
He’s far from being a veteran pro, but had one advantage at the big tourney.
“I never gave up this week,” he said.

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