Friday, August 26, 2011

Missed It By That Much

by Randy Roberts

With the low scores posted on the first day at the Barclays, Michael Thompson knew going into today's second round that he would have to go low to make it past the cut.  Going low is exactly what he did early on.  Getting off to a hot start, he scored 5 birdies by the 12th hole giving him an overall score of -4 and safely within the cut which was at -3 at the time.  Bogies on 13 and 17 tempered the hot streak and left him one shot shy of the cut line going into the driveable par 4, hole #18.  His drive landed just short of the green and his second shot landed 13'-8" away from the hole.

It was as Yogi Berra would say "deja-vu all over again".  For the second week in a row he was left with a long birdie putt, one shot shy of the cut line.  Michael came up big again, draining the long birdie putt jumping back to -3 which was just above the cut line.  Alas, it was not to be.  As the day wore on, the rest of the field also posted low scores.  For much of the day, -3 held as the cut line.  In the afternoon it moved to -4.  With hope fading, it then moved back to -3 before finally settling in at -4.

Having missed the cut, Michael won't be playing during tomorrow's third and final round.  With hurricane Irene closing in on the course, the PGA has decided to shorten the Barclays to a 54 hole event.The missed cut is also projected to drop Michael to 115th on the FedEx Cup points list.  That means he won't get to play in the second round of the playoffs next week.  
On the positive side, he and his wife Rachel will get a chance to spend several weeks at home, which hasn't really happened since the season began.  He'll get a chance to recharge the batteries while the playoffs play out, then he'll be back at it for the Fall season at the end of September.  The fall season includes four tournaments starting with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, NV.  The four tournaments will be his last chance to improve upon his position on the money list before the season ends. He'll be trying to stay above the magical 125th line beyond which Tour Cards for the next year are given out.

Update: With the Barclays over, we can report that Michael didn't lose any ground on the money list where he stands at 112.  Since only the top 100 on the FedEx list continue in next week's playoffs, it looks like only Ernie Els and William McGirt could pass him at 112.  That means worse case is that he'll start the fall season at about 114. 

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