Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thompson Accomplishes Goals, Earns PGA Tour Card

by Roz Roberts III and Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson finished up the McGladrey Classic with a one under par 69.  It wasn't enough to take home the title, but it was good enough for a third place finish worth an additional $272,000 which vaulted him up the money list from 116 to 94th.  With one tournament left in the season, he should finish the season in the top 100 on the money list which will earn him his PGA Tour Card for the next year.

When we met with Michael before the season started, he told us that his "Results Goal" was to keep his card. His "Process Goal" was to learn how to deal with life on the PGA Tour, figure out a routine that works, and stay mentally focused.

With his solid showing this week he accomplished his "Results Goal" and its safe to say that the second part of the season has demonstrated that he's made significant progress towards his "Process Goal".  After having limited success over the first part of the year, Michael had an "epiphany" and told the rest of us not to worry about him "missing cuts".  From then on he's made 10 of 12 cuts and finished fourth at the Traveler's Championship and now third at the McGladrey Classic.

This week Michael was in contention all four rounds and played in the final group on both Saturday and Sunday.  Earlier in the year, Michael was in the final group on Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open but the pressure and distractions that come with the scrutiny disrupted his game.  He ended up finishing tied for 34th.

Michael's results this week were different because Michael was able to stay in his process and work through those pressures for the most part.  He missed a crucial birdie putt on the fifteenth hole and he bogeyed the 72nd hole to miss a playoff by one shot but Michael is going to learn from this week, too.  After the round he said,

The putt on 15, the birdie putt, if I would have made that, who could tell where I would go from there. But I've been telling myself on every putt, right before I hit it, I say, it's just another putt, it's just another putt. There's no emotion to it or whatever, and I didn't tell myself that on that one putt.
And then 18 was just a mental error. It just happened.
And Michael's looking forward, not backwards
It's all part of the learning experience. I'm right where Webb Simpson was when he first came out on TOUR. Look where he is now. Maybe in a couple years I'll be up where he is. I'm just excited. I get to play next year. That was a huge goal for me, and we'll see what happens.

After watching this week and seeing how he dealt with having a 54 hole lead, keeping his composure and even keel, dealing with the increased scrutiny from the golf media, I think it's fair to say that he's accomplished his "Process Goal" as well.  We've been following his career closely since 2007 and it's been a pleasure to watch him grow as a player and a person.

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