Saturday, June 1, 2013

Thompson Overcomes the Weather at the Memorial

by Roz Roberts III

The Memorial Tournament has been a test of patience during difficult weather conditions that have included high winds, rain, and weather delays.  Friday's second round experienced a couple of delays because of dangerous thunderstorms rolling through Dublin, Ohio and was eventually postponed while over 40 golfers had not finished their rounds.  Michael Thompson was one of those that had to come to the course earlier this morning to finish their second rounds.

Michael finished his second round this morning with three pars but he struggled through the late afternoon storms on Friday and he posted a four over par 74.  His strong first round on Thursday was more than enough to get him inside the cut line and Michael must have learned from Friday's conditions because even though the difficult conditions were still the same on Saturday, Michael was able to post a two under par 70 during the third round and he is now tied for 20th.  He moved up 23 spots on the leaderboard.

The weather forced the PGA to start Saturday's third round early and group players into threesomes while the utilized both the first and tenth tees to try and get the round in before more thunderstorms rolled through.  This meant that all of the TV and streaming coverage was "tape delayed".  They will utilize the same strategy for Sunday's third round when more severe weather is expected in the afternoon.

Despite the difficult conditions that included greens running at 14+ on the Stimpmeter which might be the highest all year (including the majors), swirling winds gusting up to 35mph, and hole locations at the edge of small greens, Michael managed to make par or better on 17 of 18 holes during the third round.  His lone blemish on the scorecard came when his tee shot found the water on the most difficult hole on the course - the par 3 16th which averaged more than a half shot over par and was the most difficult hole on the PGA Tour in 2012.  He double bogeyed #16 but managed to make 4 birdies on the day and had several other birdie opportunities that just didn't fall.

Michael's most unlikely birdie came on his last hole of the day, #9, when he chipped in for birdie from the rough 19 yards from the hole.  The shot was an extremely difficult one as it was back towards the water and down a sharp slope.  To give you an idea of the difficulty of the shot, Michael's two playing partners both bogeyed the hole with three putts coming from the same general direction as Michael's chip after their putts rolled down the hill significantly past the hole.

Michael will be playing the fourth round with Bo Van Pelt and Fred Couples.  They tee off from the first hole at 11:40am ET.

Online Links
Michael's ShotTracker
Group ShotTracker
Live Video Streaming

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