Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thompson to Host Junior Invitational

by Roz Roberts III

After finishing the RBC Canadian Open at two under par in a tie for 61st, Michael Thompson will be taking a week off from the PGA Tour and will be hosting the inaugural Thompson Invitational in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

Here's a snippet from the Arizona Daily Star describing the event.  The entire article can be found by clicking on the title.

Thompson takes tour break to open junior tournament
by Greg Hansen

After he completes his round today in the Canadian Open, Rincon/University grad Michael Thompson will take a week off from the PGA Tour and return to Tucson.

Thompson, runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Open, has established the Thompson Invitational, a statewide junior tournament for boys and girls 13-18 that will stage its inaugural event next Saturday and Sunday at Oro Valley Country Club. It is Thompson's way of giving back to the Ricki Rarick junior golf program and the state's JGAA, the formative golf organizations of his junior days.

His longtime swing coach, Susie Meyers, a former UA and LPGA golfer, and her husband, Dan, a former Arizona Amateur champion, are the forces behind the event that they hope will become the premier junior tournament in Arizona. More than 50 junior golfers have entered the inaugural Thompson Invitational.

So far this year, his second season on the PGA Tour, Thompson has earned $1,215,966 and is ranked No. 57 in the world golf ranking.

Tournament Links
Tournament Information

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thompson Makes Cut in Canada Again

by Roz Roberts III
For the second year in a row, Michael Thompson has made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open.  In doing so, Michael ended his short streak of missed cuts after he shot an even par 70 during the second round at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario, Canada.  He is currently tied for 53rd.

In both of the first two rounds, Michael hit 10 out of 14 fairways which has him in a tie for 11th for the tournament in driving accuracy.  During the second round Michael's putter regained some of its typical fire power and he ended the second round with +1.916 in strokes gained putting.  His second round included four birdies and would have been much better except for the 18th hole where he made a kerfuffle of things and ended up with a triple bogey.

Michael tees off on Saturday at 11:13 am ET with Seung-Yul Noh and Canuck Graham DeLaet.  The group will begin their third rounds from the tenth tee.

Online Scoring Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael's ShotTracker
Michael's Group on ShotTracker

Thursday, July 26, 2012

RBC Canadian Open - Round 1

by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson got off to a hot start in round one of the RBC Canadian Open.  Scoring three birdies in a row on holes 3,4 and 5 had him in red numbers early on.  He had a great streak of 9 holes in a row with 100% fairways hit and 100% greens in regulation.  Although I'm sorry to say that the streak came to an end, he was able to score one more birdie before he was done, offset by two bogeys to finish at -2 and T-24th. All in all it was nice round, and I hope he enjoyed a pop when he was done.

Michael tees off on friday at 7:40 am ET with Spencer Levin and Nick O'hern.

Michael's Scorecard
Michael's ShotTracker
Group ShotTracker

Thompson To Play In The Canadian Open

by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson returns to North America this week to play in the Canadian Open.  This year's Canadian Open is taking place at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario located aboot 50 miles west of Toronto.  The tournament rotates through Canada, so although he played in this tournament last year, he's on an all new course.

If Michael plays well, he may be rewarded with entrance into next week's Bridgestone Invitational.  The top 50 on the OWGR list are invited and he currently sits at 57th.

Michael tees off at 12:40 ET with Nick O'Hern and Spencer Levin.
It will be televised 3-6pm ET on the Golf Channel.

Michael's Scorecard
Michael's ShotTracker
Group ShotTracker

Friday, July 20, 2012

'I'm glad I came over'

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson missed the cut at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's after posting rounds of 74 and 73 on the par 70 links course but just making it into the field defied the odds.

Before the week began, Michael sat as the second alternate behind Ben Crane but the field was oversubscribed due to some of the odd qualification rules.  Before the tournament began 159 spots had been handed out.  The field is intended to be 156 players and alternates would not get in until the number of players dropped below the magical 156 player limit.  Last week both Jason Day and Web Simpson withdrew which left the field at 157 players.  Undeterred by the long odds of getting into the field, Michael decided to head to England after the John Deere Classic on a charter for PGA players.
I decided [to come to England] the moment I found out I was right behind Ben.  It was kind of weird this year in that the field was basically overbooked.  I just basically said that it's an opportunity to come over here and practice, prepare, just like any other tournament.  And for a British Open, that's experience that I need for the future.  If I didn't get in we'd go sight‑seeing, because it's fun as an American to be over here. 

It was known that Russ Cochran's back was giving him trouble which left his status uncertain but in a surprise move, Robert Karlsson withdrew on Wednesday and that left Michael two spots short of getting in.  However, Ben Crane, who was the first alternate, hadn't traveled to England.  Under somewhat controversial circumstances, Ben Crane was removed from the alternate list and Michael was instated as the first alternate.  Michael said,
Robert Karlsson's withdrawal kind of surprised me.  I wasn't really expecting anybody besides maybe Russ, but I knew he wouldn't make a decision until early morning Thursday. 
So on Thursday morning, the first day of the tournament, Michael headed over to the golf course in hopes of getting some good news.  He still needed one player to withdraw.
We heard through other caddies that Russ' back was hurting him, and so it was just kind of an outside chance [that he'd withdraw] and so I got here anyways at 5:30 in the morning.  I've been waiting around for a while and found out at 9:00 a.m. that I got in.  So that gave me a little bit of time to prepare mentally for the day.
But, you know, it was a great opportunity, a great chance.  I'm glad I came over.  This is a great opportunity with my first British Open and hopefully the first of many.
I played 18 [practice holes] on Tuesday and nine on Wednesday, so I was prepared, just as getting ready to play any Tour event.  The only downside was having to get here at 5:30 in the morning. 
But, you know, that's what I had to do and I did it and everything worked out.
So, you know, it was just good luck, God's will, whatever you want to call it, that it all worked out in my favor.
Unfortunately for Michael, limited practice time translated into a missed cut as Michael had some difficulty adjusting to the links greens.
 It's very different for us Americans coming over here and playing just with the speed of the greens because we're used to 12 on the Stimpmeter, and these are 8 or 9, and so it's definitely an adjustment.  It reminds me a lot of playing on the Hooters Tour, the speed of the greens.  These are a little smoother than playing on the mini‑tours.   But it's just all about getting a good mindset, having a good feeling, seeing the ball go in the hole before you hit it.  And the better you're able to do that, the better you're able to visualize that happening, the easier it is to make putts.  And these greens are a little different, a little interesting in that there's a lot of little mounds.  And so you're putting over a lot of little mounds, which makes reading the greens a little difficult.
I couldn't make any putts.  I gave myself some good looks.   And a few wayward tee shots on this golf course and you're in deep trouble, literally.  And I guess that's the way Open golf is, and you've got to keep it in the short stuff.  It doesn't matter if it's the fairway or there's intermediate rough.  As long as you have a swing at the ball you can score well.
So after a great experience with his first British Open, Michael will be catching the charter back next week to the Canadian Open where he will tee it up all over again.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

'All This Waiting Has Paid Off'

by Roz Roberts III

After a week of waiting Michael Thompson has officially gotten into the Open Championship.  He will be replacing Russ Cochran and teeing off at 11:53am BT.  He will be paired with Steven Alker and Lee Slattery.

Upon getting the news, Michael Tweeted:

I jut found out that I'm taking Russ Cochran's place in . All this waiting paid off. Time to get that

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

British Open Waiting Game Begins

by Randy Roberts

As I write this the first players have teed off at the British Open.  It's been a wild and crazy day when it comes to the alternate list, as Robert Karlsson withdrew. As the 157th player entered into The Open, no replacement was added to the field which has a 156 player maximum.  One more Withdrawal from the tournament and 1st alternate Ben Crane would earn a spot.  Except for the fact that Ben Crane was still at his home in Oregon.  After much confusion, it was determined that Ben Crane should be removed (it's not clear whether it was voluntary or not) from the alternate list, thus promoting Michael Thompson to the position of first alternate.  Of course if no one else withdraws, Michael won't get a chance to play.

So at this hour Michael is at the tournament..... waiting.

So here's the summary of what happened:
Player #159 (Jason Day) withdrew - no replacement added
Player #158 (Webb Simpson) withdrew - no replacement added
Player #157 (Robert Karlsson) withdrew - no replacement added
if Player #156 withdraws - 1st alternate Ben Crane Michael Thompson is entered.

We're going to be hopeful here at the Thompson Tide.  In fact Roz says he added Michael to his fantasy golf team, part of his quest to have Michael on his team for every tournament he plays in.  We'll soon see if Roz is hopeful or crazy, or both.  You never know who might drop out at the last second.

Normally we would post links to Michael's scorecard and shot tracker, except in this case there is no scorecard and there is no shottracker. There is however, a leaderboard which can be found at the link below:


For all the latest Open Championship news, you can follow their twitter page found here:
The Open on Twitter

To read more about the alternate list drama you can read the articles below:
Robert Karlsson Out of Open
Manassero Dashes to Lytham in hope of late Open call

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thompson Enjoying Practice in England

by Roz Roberts III

Here's a snippet from the AP (via in which Michael was interviewed earlier today.  It provides a pretty good status on the Open Championship alternate situation although the part about Michael being at the John Deere Classic is a little misleading.  Michael was there on Sunday to catch the charter but he didn't play in the tournament.

by Paul Newberry
AP National Writer

ALTERNATE DECISIONS: Ben Crane and Michael Thompson are the top two alternates for the British Open. Both were at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, but that's where the similarities end.

Crane, the first alternate, was headed to his summer home in Oregon.

Thompson, the second alternate, got on the charter flight for PGA Tour players and headed the other direction for England.

"I saw him in the airport," Thompson said Monday on the practice range. "He was surprised I was coming."

Crane has not given up on playing the British Open. He has booked flights the next two days. And while it seems like he's taking a big risk by staying in America, that's not necessarily the case.

Because of a peculiar set of circumstances, the British Open already has more players than its 156-man field.

Even if someone withdraws, the alternate list will not be activiated. Crane would need two players to WD before he gets in. Thompson needs three players to bail out. The third alternate is Matteo Manassero, who flew home to Italy.

For Thompson, it wasn't as big of a deal to make the long flight with little hope of getting in. He doesn't have a history of back pain, for one thing. And he has never played the British Open. This is different from the U.S. Open, which doesn't allow alternates to play the golf course until they officially are in the tournament.

At the British Open, Thompson can play the course as often as he likes.

"That's a big reason why I came," he said. "I could prepare like everyone else. I had friends who were alternates at the U.S. Open, and they couldn't play at all."

This is not the first time playing links golf for Thompson, a runner-up at the U.S. Open. He played in the Palmer Cup while at Alabama – matches between college players from the U.S. and Europe – and stayed a little longer to play Turnberry and Dundonald on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.

"I have a good feeling about getting in," Thompson said. "But I don't have any control over that. I'll be ready to go on Thursday. If I don't get in, my wife and I are going to tour the countryside."

The full article this snippet came from can be found here:

Tony Jacklin Has No Plans for Comeback at Age 68

British Open Field Watch 2012


by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson has traveled to England to play in the British Open, but he may never get a chance to actually play. I have no idea why but an extra spot was given out sometime this weekend, thus raising the current field to 157.  Since alternates are not put in until the field drops to 156 players, the path to Michael getting in looks like this:

Player 157 drops out, no replacement added
Player 156 drops out, Ben Crane is added.
Player 155 drops out, Michael Thompson is added.

I have not heard of anyone being on injury watch, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

British Open to Take Place - Who Knows Who'll Be In It

by Randy Roberts

My hopes were up this morning as I read on the perennial golf news powerhouse "Rockford Register Star" that Michael Thompson was the second alternate in the British Open.  The article (which you can read here) went on to explain that with Webb Simpson and Jason Day likely missing out on the tournament due to pregnant wives, that Michael Thompson should make it into the field.

Turns out, it's not that simple. But before we get into the nuts and bolts, we can say that one thing we do know for sure is that Michael is the #2 alternate behind Ben Crane (confirmed in a tweet from Michael earlier today).  What I didn't know this morning is that the British Open has a strange habit of overbooking it's tournament which is suppose to have a minimum of 156 players.

Although there's some discrepancy in what the current number of entries is (the official website does not include everyone yet), according to Wikipedia and an article from Golf Digest, there are currently 156 players in the field. For discussion purposes, I'm going to go ahead and go with this number.  This weekend there are two additional spots that will potentially be given out (one from the John Deere Classic and another from the Scottish Open ).  That puts the likely field at 158.  If one person drops out, an alternate does not go in until there is less than 156 players.  So the path to Michael getting in looks like this **:

Player 158 drops out, no replacement added
Player 157 drops out, no replacement added
Player 156 drops out, Ben Crane added to field.
Player 155 drops out Michael Thompson added to field.

Webb Simpson has already stated that he wouldn't play so we can pencil him in as "Player 158" in the list above.  Jason Day's wife is due tomorrow, and may skip the tournament, but that's still up in the air. Let's go ahead and pencil him in as Player 157 for now.  That means there needs to be two additional players that drop out due to injury or other reason for Michael to get in.  That's all assuming that you trust wikipedia's numbers which I trust only slightly more than the Rockford Register Star.

Are we all good now? Clear as mud.

**terms subject to change

UPDATE #1: Jason Day has officially withdrawn. Webb Simpson has not officially WD'd yet.

Player 158 Jason Day drops out, no replacement added 
Player 157 drops out, no replacement added
Player 156 drops out, Ben Crane added to field.
Player 155 drops out Michael Thompson added to field.

UPDATE #2: Webb Simpson has officially withdrawn.
US Open Champ Simpson out of British

Player 158 Jason Day drops out, no replacement added 
Player 157 Webb Simpson drops out, no replacement added
Player 156 drops out, Ben Crane added to field.
Player 155 drops out Michael Thompson added to field.

Thompson Headed To The British Open

Thompson Headed to The British Open England
Thompson Possibly Headed to The British Open England, Maybe

by Randy Roberts

The rewards of finishing runner up at the US Open continue to roll in.  I'm not exactly sure which method was used but Michael Thompson was named the second alternate for The Open Championship. (Editors note: I was able to pass college classes on partial differential equations and Laplace transforms, but the process of selecting the field for the Open Championship confounds me.)   

With both Webb Simpson and Jason Day's wives pregnant and ready to give birth, both of them may have to drop out and miss the tournament, allowing Michael to play.  Dowd Simpson is due in late July, and Webb has already said that he would be skipping the tournament. Ellie Day is due July 11, and Jason has said that he would skip the tournament if the baby hadn't come yet.  Even if Jason Day is able to attend, there are 155 other players who could withdraw due to an injury or other reason.

On twitter, Michael was asked whether he had gotten in the Open, and he confirmed that he was indeed heading across the pond.
@wesleyhelton: @MSlickThompson Did you get in the Open?” I'm second alternate. Heading over there on Sunday.
If he's able to make it into the confirmed field, it would mark Michael's first time playing in the British Open, and his fourth appearance in a major. 

Update: Turns out it's even more complicated.  I need to get a supercomputer to calculate out the Open Championship field algorithms to work out the details, then I'll post a more elaborate update. Basically, there's no guarantees and Michael's chances may be even more slim.