Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's In a Name?

The "two" Michael Thompson's listed on the PGA Tour's webiste.
by Roz Roberts III

So you may have noticed that Michael Thompson's official world golf ranking (OWGR) has been climbing lately (he is currently #111).  Immediately after his third place finish at the Thailand Championship last month his ranking actually went down for a while and here's the explanation from AP golf writer Doug Ferguson (it came from a larger column over the wires and has now found a life of its own including the PGA.com website here:  Michael Thompson Vaults Up World Ranking):
by Doug Ferguson
Associated Press
NAME GAME: You've heard stories about players who take time off and move up in the world ranking. How about the case of Michael Thompson, who moved up 52 spots after not playing one week?

It's a true story — although it's the product of confusion over his middle initial.

Thompson was coming off a rookie season on the PGA Tour in which he finished 98th on the money list to easily retain his card. He played in the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship at the end of the year and finished third behind Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel. When he looked at the world ranking, he actually dropped two spots to No. 183.

"I got back from Thailand and saw that I got no points," Thompson said.

He called his agent, and before long the tour and world ranking board were involved.

Thompson played his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event at the 2008 Masters, the year after he was runner-up in the U.S. Amateur. Because there already was a Michael Thompson in the ranking archives, he was assigned "X'' as his middle initial. This is a common practice. He played the Masters, U.S. Open and Traveler's Championship in 2008 as an amateur, and he tied for 28th in his pro debut that fall in the Texas Open.

When he earned his card, the tour entered him in the system using his proper initial — "H'' for Hayes.

But the Michael X. Thompson remained in the system and was awarded the 12.8 points for a third-place finish at Thailand that should have gone to Michael H. Thompson.

There was no golf played the following week, but in the final world ranking of 2011, the points were restored, and Michael H. Thompson had gone from No. 183 to No. 131.


And just to follow up on the "Michael X. Thompson" identity, the PGA Tour website has two Michael Thompson's listed.  One has his correct career statistics and one has all of the associated video and media that has been collected by the PGA over the years.  You can see the comparison of the two pages in the photo at the top of this post.

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