Friday, September 30, 2011

Michael Makes the Cut!

by Randy Roberts

JT Shriners Open - Round 2 Recap

Things started off on the wrong foot in Michael Thompson's group during Round 2 of the JT Shriners Open at TPC Summerlin.  His entire group scored a bogey or worse on the first hole of the day, #10.  In Michael's case his tee shot hit a tree which forced him to lay up in the fairway.  Things quickly turned around though and the hilight of the day ended up being his tee shot on the par 3 #14.  His shot landed right next to the hole, a mere 7 inches away from making it in.  A hole-in-one at the JT Shriners Open would mean a new Hyundai to whoever could pull off such a feat. It was oh-so-close and as I write this, remains the closest that anyone has come on #14 the entire tournament.  Michael went on to birdie two more holes on the back nine, making the turn at -2 for the day, -5 overall.

The front nine again proved to be the more difficult half of the course.  A couple of bogeys at holes 1 and 2 left Michael at even par for the day (-3 overall).  With the scores being so low (the leaders were at -12) those of us spectating knew that he would need at least one if not two more birdies to have a chance at playing on the weekend. Michael put himself in position time and again, but the birdie putts just weren't sinking.  Finally, on hole 7 his second shot left him with a 3 ft putt.  As Michael lined up his putt,  the sky opened up and it started to rain.  The putt dropped into the hole, and the rain almost immediately went away.  That got him to -4 which at the time was on the positive side of the cut line.  A par on #8 left him with one last chance to get some extra insurance for the cut, the par 5 #9.  But alas, it was not meant to be.  A missed birdie putt left him at -4 which at the time was good for 62nd.

With quite a few players left on the course, Michael's fate was a waiting game.  With the top 70 plus ties making the cut, we sat and crossed our fingers as we watched his position change to T-66th.  A delay due to lightning stretched out long enough that we left the course hoping for the best.  Finally in the early evening, play had restarted and enough players had finished to determine that the cut line was locked in at -4.  He had made it in tied for 68th!

Here's the links for following Michael at the JT Shriners Open

Michael Thompson ShotTracker
Michael Thompson's Group ShotTracker

The final two rounds will all be televised on the Golf Channel
Sat, Sun 4:00pm-7:00pm ET

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