Friday, January 28, 2011

Thompson Makes The Cut!

Michael Thompson marked another important milestone in his young PGA Tour professional career by making his first cut at the Farmer's Insurance Open today.  For any rookie, making cuts is job one.  Now that he's made the cut, Saturday (known as moving day on the tour) is all about scoring and trying to move up the leader board.

Michael finished the day at -5 for the tournament and tied for 17th.  He shot a two under 70 on the North course which, despite scoring two shots easier than the South course, is playing harder than it ever has in the past.  Torrey Pines has made a very deliberate effort to increase the difficulty on the North course by lengthening holes, narrowing fairways, and letting the rough get ridiculously deep.  The final two rounds will be played on the South course.

Round Two Recap
Michael's day got off to a rough start when he bogeyed two of the first three holes.  On his fourth hole of the day (hole 13) he was buried in deep rough off the green around 15 feet from the hole.  He made a remarkable chip out that not only got close to the hole but found its way home for a very improbable birdie.

Throughout the rest of his first eight holes, Michael struggled to find consistency and ended up bogeying his seventh hole of the day (hole 16) and was sitting at +2 for the day heading into the par five 18th hole.  He hit a great iron shot to reach the green in two and was able to make a tap in birdie to finish his front nine at just one over par. 

Michael took the momentum from that birdie and carried it into his back nine (holes 1-9 on the course).  He birdied both holes 1 and 2 to card three consecutive birdies and get his round to one under par.  From that point on Michael played very consistent golf with birdie opportunities on most holes and although the birdie putts didn't drop he had plenty of tap in pars.

Perhaps his most wayward shot of the back nine came off the tee on his last hole of the day: the par five hole 9.  His drive went right and ended up laying next to a cart path.  A rules official was called over and Michael was able to make a drop in a thin piece of grass adjacent to the cart path.  Unfortunately for Michael, his shot was blocked by a set of trash cans and a tree.  That's when Michael pulled off an amazing low screaming fade that went over the trash cans, under and around the tree and managed to land in the middle of the fairway a mere 30 yards from the hole.  He hit a nice wedge to within five feet of the hole, made his putt, and finished the round at two under par.

Despite his early struggles, Michael was able to "right the ship" and even managed to move up five spots on the leaderboard.

Round Three Details
Michael will tee off from the first hole tomorrow at 8:20am PT with Jamie Lovemark and Bobby Gates.

Television coverage tomorrow will be split between the Golf Channel and CBS.  Here are the details but check local listings:

Golf      1:00-2:30pm ET
CBS     3:00-6:00pm ET
Scoring Links
As usual, here are the links for all the online scoring pages that the PGA website has to offer.  Shot Tracker should work tomorrow since Michael is playing the South course.  The North course didn't have any Shot Tracker coverage so the link posted for today's round was probably worthless (sorry).

Twitter Feed
Those of you hoping for hole by hole Twitter updates may be a little disappointed with upcoming Twitter feeds because the PGA's "Mobile Device Committee", also known as the Committee to Halt Progress, has mandated that there shall be no mobile device use of any kind except in the restroom areas.  This mandate includes checking the leaderboard via web, texting, e-mailing, and above all Twitter Play-by-play.  We'll do our best.

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