Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Michael H. Thompson Bridge" Completed at Ol' Colony Golf Course

While Michael Thompson was making his debut on the PGA tour at the Sony Open, The "Michael H. Thompson Bridge" made it's debut at the Ol' Colony Golf Complex in Tuscaloosa, AL. The bridge was a service project by two local high school golf teams to thank the golf course for it's support through the years. The 35' walking bridge connects the gold and blue tee boxes on the 14th hole and will make it easier for golfers to traverse a depression that conveys runoff to a nearby pond.

Of the 24 student atheletes who helped build the bridge, 18 were from the Holy Spirit Catholic High men's and women's golf teams, and 6 were from the Tuscaloosa County High School Men's golf team.

Coach Kevin Campbell from Holy Spirit Catholic High said the project was "a big hit" with the youth and from the pictures below, it looked like they had a pretty good time in the process.

You can view the photos by clicking the play button below or view it at Flick.com

Naming the bridge after Michael Thompson was something that Coach Campbell wanted to do because "Michael's performance in the 2008 Masters exemplified the character we're trying to instill in our own golfers and because Ol' Colony was his home course while at the University of Alabama." Coach Campbell was referring to an incident at the 2008 Masters (shown below) where Michael called a penalty on himself because the ball had moved after he had grounded his club, even though no one else saw it move.

After the Masters, Michael discussed the incident in an interview posted on Rolltide.com
Q: "Let's go ahead and talk about it first: hole 15. Did the world see the Eagle Scout in you on that one? "
A: Yeah. That's probably part of it. It's just something unfortunate that happened. But it's something that you've got to deal with. I had put my club down. I had completely addressed the ball and as soon as I put my putter down, the ball moved. And according to the rules, that's a one-stroke penalty and you try to replace the ball and you replay the shot. So that's what I did and I didn't make the putt. I was looking at about eight feet for birdie and ended up having eight feet for par. And I missed it and made bogey."
Q: The TV announcers said no one may have ever even noticed it, but you immediately spoke up. If you had to do it all over again, would you still penalize yourself?
A: "Oh absolutely. Every time. There's no doubt. No question. It's the rules of golf. You don't break the rules of golf. Especially in a setting like this it can always comes back to haunt you and, if not from someone else, it will always haunt you personally and I would rather live with me giving myself a penalty than I would with me cheating."
In the end, Michael missed out on an opportunity to make the cut at the Masters, but he earned the respect of the golf community, and even ended up with a bridge named after him. Not so bad after all.

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