Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sean Martin Features Thompson in His "5 Things" Column

Sean Martin of (one of the ThompsonTide's favorite golf writers) had a nice piece on Michael as part of his "5 Things" column.  Click on the picture to read the whole article.  Here's an excerpt:

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Even the caddies were confused. While waiting for the fairway to clear on the Seaside Course’s seventh hole, Michael Thompson’s looper started digging around a Ping staff bag.
“Wrong bag,” Billy Horschel said with a laugh. Thompson’s caddie had taken a wrong turn while searching for a supplement to add to Thompson’s water bottle.

Thompson and Horschel, who were paired in the McGladrey Classic’s final pairing Saturday, have their share of similarities. Only one player can win the McGladrey Classic, though. The two SEC alums will play in the final group again Sunday. Thompson, 26, and Horschel, 24, are both PGA Tour rookies who share a sponsor and won the SEC Championship at nearby Frederica.

“We’re just two young guys having fun on the PGA Tour,” Thompson said. “It was just like playing your country club on a Saturday. It made me feel comfortable.”

• • •
1.) Tide Rolling: Thompson will start Sunday with the first 54-hole lead of his career. He’s at 13-under 197 (65-65-67) and one shot ahead of Horschel, who shot even-par 70 on Saturday. A high finish will also lock up Thompson’s card for 2012. He’s 116th on the money list with $663,265.

A year ago this week, the Alabama grad was winning a Hooters Tour event in rival territory Auburn, Ala., in preparation for Q-School.

Thompson, runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur, turned pro in 2008 after earning low-amateur honors at the U.S. Open (T-29). He slumped in his first pro season, and had to spend the 2009 and 2010 seasons on the Hooters Tour. He was last year’s Hooters Tour player of the year before graduating from Q-School.
As Thompson was talking to agents in preparation for his pro career, one told him he’d have to hit the ball higher to compete on the PGA Tour.

“That one quote, it totally changed my whole outlook on the game of golf and how I was going to go about playing it,” he said. “I changed my whole swing.

“I worked on shallowing out my swing. I used to come in really steep, take deep divots. I was working on casting the club, releasing my hands early. That caused my impact to change dramatically. I felt like I was sweeping the ball, instead of compressing it. For me, that brought in a duck hook. That duck hook produced a fear of hitting it left, and then I started hitting it all over the place.”

Thompson even briefly considered quitting the game during one poor stretch in 2009.

“I told myself, ‘There’s no point. This is miserable,’ ” Thompson said. “My family, my coach, my friends, my girlfriend (now wife), everyone encouraged me to keep going, and I knew this is always what I wanted to do in the long run.”
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