Friday, March 29, 2013

First Round Roller Coaster Ride for Thompson

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson's first round par 72 at the Shell Houston Open was anything but boring.

Michael got off to a fast start with three birdies in his first six holes including back to back birdies on holes #12 and #13.  In the span of the next eight holes, Michael would go from near the top of the leaderboard to near the bottom.  He made consecutive bogeys on holes #17 and #18 and things got really ugly with consecutive double bogeys on holes #4 and #5.

If you know Michael, you know that giving up at that point was not an option.  He rallied with three birdies over his final four holes and had managed to climb back to even par 72.  He is currently tied for 64th and he'll be looking to carry the momentum of his final holes into tomorrow's second round.

As you would expect with a round that had six birdies, two bogeys, and two double bogeys, Michael's stats were a mixed bag except for his putting stats which were off the charts.  His Strokes Gained Putting was +3.541 which ranked third for the round and his putting average was a mere 1.455.

Round 2 Tee Time
Michael will once again be playing with Russell Henley and John Merrick.  They will be teeing off from the first hole at 1:00pm ET.  The group should be featured in the television coverage on Golf Channel tomorrow from 4:00 - 7:00pm ET.

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shell Houston Open Provides Masters Tune Up

by Roz Roberts III

If you watch the coverage of the Shell Houston Open this week you may notice a remarkable similarity to Augusta National, host course of the Masters, and that's not by accident.  The SHO has embraced its role as the premiere tune-up to the Masters.  They have configured the Redstone Golf Club's Tournament Course to closely mirror many aspects of Augusta including the course's length; the size, slope, shape, and speed of the greens; the shaved banks; and even the way the fairways are mowed.

Michael Thompson will be continuing his Masters preparation as he joins a strong field at the SHO.  Michael played Augusta last week as part of that preparation but this week he'll get in some good old fashioned competition under Master style conditions.  Look for the greens to be running at a blazing 13+ on the stimpmeter.

Round 1 Tee Time
Michael will once again be in one of the featured groups of the tournament.  He will be playing with fellow 2013 first time PGA Tour winners Russell Henley and John Merrick.  The group will tee off from the tenth hole at 8:00am ET.

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Little Foreshadowing?

by Roz Roberts III

As Michael Thompson takes a well deserved week off to re-charge his batteries after a busy three week stretch out on tour, here's a look back at an interview Michael did last year after his second place finish at the US Open.  If you watched some of the interviews Michael did after his victory at the Honda Classic you'll recall he referenced some of his previous experiences while he was in contention and some lessons he learned.  This interview from 9 months ago foreshadows some of the success that would be coming his way.  It's worth a second look!

Friday, March 15, 2013

"I Hate Snakes, Jock!"

photo via @LeeWilliamsPGA

by Randy Roberts

The Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort earned it's reputation as a difficult course today, averaging two strokes over par.  The closing three holes, dubbed "The Snake Pit" got it's bite on Michael Thompson, as he went 3 over par on those three.  Despite everything, Michael sounded upbeat, tweeting:

"Well................. I still like the golf course! And now I'm eating Chipotle! What an awesome day!"

Finishing the round at 6 over par, he'll have some work to do tomorrow in order to charm Copperhead.

Thompson tees off at 8:30 ET and will be grouped again with Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar.

Online Links
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rolling Into Tampa Bay

by Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson is rolling a tide of momentum into the Tampa Bay Championship being played at the Copperhead course at the Innisbrook Resort.  He has had top 10 finishes in each of the first two tournaments on the "Florida Swing".  He'll be looking to make that three in a row at a course that he says fits his game well.

For the first time in his career, Michael will be playing in a featured group.  The group, made up of the tour's most recent winners, consists of Matt Kuchar who won at the WGC Accenture Match-Play Championship, Scott Brown who won the Puerto Rico Open, and Michael who won the Honda Championship.  The group will tee off the first round at 1:20pm ET from the first hole.

The first round will be on the Golf Channel from 3:00-6:00pm ET.

Online Links
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

During today's coverage of the pro-am, Michael was interviewed. In case you missed it, you can watch it below.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

'Michael Thompson Golf' on Display at the Cadillac Championship

by Roz Roberts III

Three weeks ago, Michael Thompson finished dead last at the Northern Trust Open and was looking for answers as to why.  I was at that second round at Riviera when Michael shot an 80 and despite the high score, there were some signs of things to come.  He eagled the first hole with a 49 foot putt and made a fantastic chip on the tricky tenth hole which lead to a birdie.  The problem was more a matter of consistency.

Michael went back home to Birmingham, AL with a week off and spent the time trying to find his game "in the dirt".  He played golf with the Alabama men's golf team and talked with his past and present coaches.  He learned to enjoy what he was doing again.  His wife Rachel describes the process in her latest blog.  If you haven't read it - you should.

What Michael found was "Michael Thompson golf" - nothing more, nothing less.  It's all about doing what Michael does best.  Get onto the green as fast as possible.  Putt well.  Grind.  And, most importantly, never give up.

Last week, as you all know by now, Michael won his first tournament on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic.  As a byproduct of that win, he got into this week's WGC Cadillac Championship where he finished in a tie for 8th.  It is the first time in Michael's young PGA career that he has posted back to back top 10 finishes.  And what top 10 finishes they are.  Both events had stellar fields.  In fact, the Cadillac had all golfers inside the top 50 in Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) except for Brandt Snedeker who is healing from an injury.

Michael entered the final round in a tie for 5th.  His final round started with 10 straight pars.  Michael had his birdie chances but, today, those putts just weren't falling.  Michael hit a rough patch when he bogeyed holes 11 and 12 to fall to two over par for the round.  He then managed to make back to back birdies on holes 15 and 16 to get back to even par on the day. He eventually bogeyed the 18th hole (the hardest on the course) after missing a 15 foot putt from the fringe by a mere six inches.  Had the putt fallen he would have finished solo 8th rather than tied for 8th, but in the end, he had a solid top 10 finish in a high profile WGC event.

The T8 finish ensures that Michael remains at the 11th spot on both the Fedex Cup points list and the money list.  It should also move him up a few notches in the OWGR list.

This coming week, Michael will look to carry his good form into the Tampa Bay Championship at Copperhead course at the Innisbrook Resort.  It's a course that Michael likes and feels fits his game.  Based on his current form and current attitude, the future looks bright.

Michael's Birdie on Hole #16 During the Fourth Round of the WGC Cadillac Championship

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thompson's Clubs 'Saying a Lot of Good Stuff'

Michael Thompson watches his third shot at the par 5 tenth hole.  The ball would find the bottom of the cup for eagle and propel Michael into a tie for 5th at the WGC Cadillac Championship.

by Roz Roberts III

All Michael Thompson has done after winning the Honda Classic is to shoot three rounds in the 60's and move up the leaderboard into a tie for 5th.  Michael made the most of "moving day" by posting one of the low rounds of the day at five under par (67) which has him at -11 for the tournament and tied for 5th.  Most of the talking heads said that Michael's win at Honda was "out of the blue" put the same can't be said of his top notch performance at the WGC Cadillac Championship.

Michael's performance is being overshadowed by Tiger Woods who is in the lead at -18 and posting a record number of birdies but that's pretty much the way Michael likes it.  After his win at the Honda, Michael said
Everybody wants to see the marquis players, the guys who are exciting or wear the bright clothes and all that.  I've always kind of treated my golf game or kind of lived by the motto as, I'm going to let my clubs do the talking.  If my clubs talk, and they are saying a lot of good stuff, then good things are going to happen to me. 
Right now, his clubs are, in fact, 'saying a lot of good stuff'.  During Saturday's third round Michael posted four birdies and an eagle (see the video below) and limited his mistakes with only a single bogey on the card. Michael had two hole outs during the round.  In addition to the bunker shot on hole #10, he had a chip in from just off the green on hole #17 which got him to -5 on the day.

Fourth Round Tee Time
Michael will once again be paired with Sergio Garcia.  They tee off at 2:20pm ET.

TV Times
Golf Channel         1:00-3:00pm ET
NBC                        3:00-7:00 ET
Golf Channel         3:00-6:00pm ET (spotlight coverage of holes 15, 16, and 18)

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker


Thompson gets kicks two weeks in a row

Michael's Eagle on hole #10
Michael participated in the Cadillac V-Series Challenge for Charity prior to the WGC Cadillac Championship

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thompson Not Backing Down

Michael Thompson hits his second shot on hole #17 during the second round of the WGC Cadillac Championship

by Roz Roberts III and Randy Roberts

Undaunted by the elite golfers surrounding him on the leaderboard, Michael Thompson posted another three under par 69 at the WGC Cadillac Championship and is now tied for 10th after two rounds.  He is 7 shots back from Tiger Woods who leads the field.  Michael climbed the leaderboard Friday by hitting fairways (11 out of 14 which was tied for 4th) and greens in regulation (14 out of 18 which was tied for 9th).  He is currently tied for 3rd in driving accuracy for the tournament hitting 20 out of 28 fairways.

He'll be looking to keep his current rush of momentum going in the third round on Saturday.

Third Round Tee Time
Michael will be paired with Sergio Garcia and tees off at 12:45pm ET.

TV Times
Golf Channel 12:00-2:00pm ET
NBC 2:00-6:00 ET

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thompson Still On Fire

Michael Thompson putts for birdie on hole #9 at the Blue Monster at Doral.
by Roz Roberts III

Nobody would have been surprised if Michael Thompson's first round at the WGC Cadillac Championship wasn't spectacular.  After all, he's had press interviews all week with radio stations, televisions shows, and newspaper reporters after his victory at the Honda Classic.  All of that to say, it hasn't been a normal week of preparation.  In fact, as of his PGA Tour press conference on Wednesday at noon, Michael had only been able to practice the first nine holes of the Blue Monster at Doral once!  He was hoping to get to practice the back nine on Wednesday afternoon.

Lack of practice or not, Michael had a great first round at Doral shooting a three under par 69 which has him tied for 16th.  He had four birdies on the day and only one bogey.  He continued his top form from last week by hitting 9 out 14 fairways and 12 out of 18 greens in regulation.  He also was +1.835 in strokes gained putting.  The three under par round leaves him just three shots from the top of the leaderboard.

Second Round Tee Time
Michael will once again be paired with Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher.  They tee off from the first hole at 12:04pm ET.

TV Times
Golf Channel 2-6pm ET

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Articles and Interviews
Michael Thompson: Learning to Be True to Himself - This is a good article based on Michael's Wednesday press conference
Radio Interview with Tampa Bay Sports Radio 620
Full Text from Michael's Wednesday Press Conference

First WGC For Thompson

by Roz Roberts III

Just four days after his first PGA Tour victory, and as a direct result of his increased Official World Golf Ranking, Michael Thompson will look to carry his momentum into the Cadillac Championship.  This will be the first time he will compete in a World Golf Championship (WGC) event.

The Cadillac Championship is the second of four WGC events held throughout the year.  These events were created to combine players from the various tours around the world and are generally limited to the top 50-70 players in the world.  Michael qualified when his OWGR jumped to #45 and inside the top 50.  The WGC events are "no-cut" events so the entire field will play all four rounds.

The Cadillac Championship is played at the TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral which boasts one of the most feared 18th holes in golf - especially if the wind is blowing into the players' faces.  The long par four boasts water on the left, bunkers on the right, and a very narrow landing zone off the tee.  The second shot is just as daunting as water is still on the play on the left and the long-narrow green is guarded by bunkers.

First Round Tee Time
Michael will be paired with Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher for the first two rounds.  The group will tee off their first round from the 10th hole at 12:59pm ET.

TV Times
Golf Channel 2-6pm ET

Online Links
Michael's Scorecard
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker

Michael Interview Snippet from Wednesday

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Michael Thompson Wins!

Michael and wife Rachel celebrate the win

The PGA Tour's latest champion

by Randy Roberts and Roz Roberts III

Michael Thompson battled tough conditions and an incredibly strong field to become the 2013 Honda Classic Champion! He had the second best round of the day, finishing at -1, -9 overall and won by two shots over Geoff Ogilvy.

"This is everything.  This is a childhood dream come true. I've dreamed of playing out here since I was 7 years old and to win, it's just unbelievable. I just can't put it into words. The whole day was awesome."

Awesome indeed!

Michael managed to improve his position at the end of each round this week.  After round 1 he was tied for 16th.  After round 2 he was in second.  After round three he was in a tie for first and at the end of the tournament he sat alone at the top of the leaderboard.  As the wind picked up over the weekend, scores rose as the conditions became very difficult.  In fact, during Sunday's final round the scoring average was nearly 4 shots over par at 73.707 .

How tough was the field that Michael was able to outpace? Check out these stats:
Total players: 144
PGA TOUR winners: 71 (for a total of 304 wins)
THE PLAYERS winners: 5
World Golf Championship winners: 10
Current FedExCup Rankings: Top 10 (6), Top 30 (14), Top 50 (27)
Official World Golf Ranking: Top 10 (5), Top 30 (14), Top 50 (20)
Foreign tour winners: 47 (for a total of 259 wins)
2012 Ryder Cup members: 10
2013 PGA TOUR winners: Dustin Johnson, Russell Henley, Brian Gay, Tiger Woods, John Merrick
Past Honda Classic winners: Rory McIlroy (2012), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Camilo Villegas (2010), Y.E. Yang (2009), Ernie Els (2008), Mark Wilson (2007), Justin Leonard (2003), Jesper Parnevik (2001), Stuart Appleby (1997), Tim Herron (1996)
With this win comes many new perks other than just the new label of "Honda Classic Champion":
  • A huge climb up the FedEx Cup Points and money lists to no. 11.
  • A two year exemption on the PGA Tour
  • Another invite to the Masters (already had one as a result of his T-2nd finish at the US Open)
  • Invites to all of the 2013 WGC events including this week's Cadillac Championship
  • A spot in next year's Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui


Monday Backspin - Amanda Balionis recaps Michael Thompson's victory and all the news from The Honda Classic.
Eagle on 3
Birdie on 5
Par Save on 10 - with commentary by Jack Nicklaus
Birdie on 18 for the win
Sports Center - ESPN's recap of the tournament
Post Round Interview - 19 minute post round press conference
Shorter Post Round Interview - interview with Carl Paulson from SiriusXM
Stephanie Wei Vid Cast where she discusses the tournament with Australian PGA broadcaster Luke Elvy
Golf Central - Golf Channel Sunday recap.  Michael's win is the lead story
Monday Backspin

ESPN's Michael Collins congratulates Michael Thompson with some interesting insight from a caddie's perspective:

Tour Report - Sunday Observations - PGA Tour report
Michael Thompson Takes Honda - ESPN Golf article, includes ESPN video coverage
Winner's Bag - A look at what clubs are in Michael's bag
The Honda Classic Round 4 Wrap Up - PGA Tour recap article, includes video highlights and stats
How it Happened - Thompson's 1st Tour Win - A running blog of the final round
Star Studded Field Gives Way to Thompson - A great article from Jason Sobel of the (another one of our favorites)
The Mental Game:  Thompson's Attitude - Another article from the Tour Report on
Thompson plays for all the right reasons and wins - A good article from
5 Things: Thompson conquers PGA National for win- Sean Martin's 5 Things Recap (Sean is one of our favorites)
With Michael Thompson eclipsing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, unpredictability is golf’s only constant

Read more here:
Thompson applies major lessons in breakthrough victory at PGA National - A nice opinion piece from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald plus a good picture of Micahel with Mattie Lou!
From worst to first: Michael Thompson bounces back to win Honda Classic - Recap from another one of our favorites Stephanie Wei, including quotes from Rachel and some good insight
Thompson applies major lessons in breakthrough victory at PGA National - Article from Brian Wacker on PGATOUR.COM
Thompson's win eclipses Tour card concerns - Great article from Sean Martin with quotes from Rachel Thompson and Susie Meyers
Post Round News Conference Transcript
#getreadycouch 2.0 ends in a feel good story!
Lost and Found - Great article from Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest with quotes from Susie Meyers and mentions about his family.
Former Tulane golf coach Tom Shaw savors Michael Thompson's Tour victory - Another great article with a Tulane spin.
Michael Thompson: Learning to Be True to Himself
I Guess We Need a New Goal - Michael's wife Rachel blogs about what it was like to come to grips with the struggles leading up to the Honda Classic and what Michael's mindset was to be able move past it and become a champion.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thompson at the Top!

by Randy Roberts

Michael Thompson had another strong day at the Honda Classic leaving him tied for first going into tomorrow's final round.  Things got off to a rough start as he had trouble controlling his tee shots in the  strong winds, but he battled throughout and ended the day at even par, -8 overall. After the round Michael talked about his round:
My short game saved me; my putting saved me. I just fought through it. Just stayed positive, stayed patient, let things happen, and never got down on myself, never got upset and that's kind of who I am, and that's the way I like to play golf.
Michael's round was highlighted by a bunker shot that went in for a birdie on 6 and a 20' birdie putt on 12.'s "Shot of the Day" - Michael's Bunker Shot on 6

Michael will be paired again with co-leader Luke Guthrie in the final group of the day.  After the round Michael said he had enjoyed playing with Guthrie and thought it was good that they'd be paired again:
We were both I think pretty positive. Luke's mild‑tempered, which is always good for me. Kind of helps me stay calm and just keep plugging along.You know, I think it's a good match up. I think we have a great pairing to be in the final group again tomorrow. We kind of‑‑ even though we are out in front with the lead, we are kind of under the radar. We are not marquis players, quite yet. But we'll just go out there and play golf and see what happens. It's a good field, and obviously a great golf course and you know, we'll just see what happens.
They tee off at 1:30pm ET.

Video of Birdie putt on 12
Video of post round interview
Video preview of Sunday
Post Round Press Conference Transcript
Photos from third round

Interesting Articles for Those of You Who Just Can't Get Enough
Guthrie, Thompson face tough tests from PGA National, strong leaderboard
Daily Wrap-up: The Honda Classic, Round 3
5 Things: Guthrie, Thompson tied for lead heading into Sunday
Unknowns Luke Guthrie and Michael Thompson tied for lead after three rounds of Honda Classic
Michael Thompson and Luke Guthrie share Honda Classic lead

Round 4 Television Coverage
TV coverage is as follows:

Golf Channel     1-3pm ET
NBC                     3-6pm ET

Online Links
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker
Live@ Streaming Coverage of holes 3 and 9 (9am-6pm ET)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Look Who's Climbing the Leaderboard by Playing "Michael Thompson Golf"

Michael Thompson looks over a birdie putt during the second round of the Honda Classic.

by Roz Roberts III

It took a few weeks to knock the rust off, but Michael Thompson's golf game is looking as good as ever.  Michael spent the last couple of weeks working with golf coach Susie Meyers and based on the first two rounds at the Honda Classic the practice is paying dividends.  Michael followed his three under par 67 from the first round with an even better five under par 65.  His 36 hole score of eight under par has him in second place going into the weekend one shot off the lead of Luke Guthrie.

He is playing what Alabama coach Jay Seawell calls "Michael Thompson Golf".  So what is "Michael Thompson Golf"?  It's keeping the ball in the short grass and finding greens in regulation. From there you putt like few people on the planet can.  “I’m a good putter, so if I can get on the green quickly, it doesn't really matter where I am.  I can make putts; I know I can.”

The recipe is working for Michael at the difficult PGA National course.  He's hit 28 out of 36 greens in regulation (T2) and 21 out of 28 fairways (T13).  He's also 16th in the strokes gained putting stat for the tournament.

Michael watches his bunker shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic.

Articles and Videos from Round 2
Guthrie, Thompson dissect PGA National to top of leaderboard
A nice re-cap from one of our favorite Golweek writers Sean Martin

Michael Thompson Interviewed After Round 2 of the Honda Classic
A post round video interview from

Interview Transcript

Round 3 Tee Times
Michael will be paired with current leader Luke Guthrie in the final group of the day.  They tee off at 1:40pm ET.

Round 3 Television Coverage
Michael should get some face time tomorrow since he's in the final pairing.  TV coverage is as follows:

Golf Channel     1-3pm ET
NBC                     3-6pm ET

Online Links
Michael on Shot Tracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker (coming soon)
Live@ Streaming Coverage of holes 3 and 9 (9am-6pm ET)