TUSCALOOSA ?? For the second straight year and the third time in his career, University of Alabama golfer Michael Thompson will compete in the United States Amateur Championship.
The Tucson, Ariz., native, who will be a senior at Alabama this fall, won the U.S. Amateur Championship Sectional Qualifying tournament at Pinewild Country Club’s Magnolia Course in Pinehurst, N.C., on Tuesday afternoon to punch his ticket to San Francisco, Calif. Thompson shot 67-69/136 to finish 6-under par and best the field of hopefuls at the qualifier. Three other men advanced from that sectional qualifier, including Phillip Mollica, Matt Hammond and Dusty Roberts.
Thompson, who is ranked No. 9 in Golf Week’s Men’s Amateur Rankings, participated in the 2004 and 2006 U.S. Amateur Championships. He finished 22-under par at The Players Amateur on July 16. Thompson, who transferred to Alabama this past season after golf was disbanded at Tulane in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, finished T-4th at the 2007 NCAA Championships, shooting back-to-back rounds of 66 in his final two rounds at Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va. He also finished T-4th at both the NCAA Central Regional Championships and the Southeastern Conference Championships this past season and had seven top 10 individual finishes in his first season with the Tide. He brought four career individual collegiate victories from his two seasons at Tulane. He led Alabama with a 71.89 stroke average in 12 tournaments in 2006-07, finishing under par in four of those tournaments.
He will be joined at the 2007 U.S. Amateur by at least one of his Crimson Tide teammates, another upcoming senior, Mark Harrell. Harrell qualified and participated in the 2007 U.S. Open earlier this summer and collected a straight ticket into the U.S. Amateur because of that. He just missed the cut at the U.S. Open, exiting and tied in the same scoring group as PGA tour player Phil Mickelson. Harrell won the stroke play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links a couple of weeks ago. Harrell finished second in stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur and competed in 2005 as well, making this his third U.S. Amateur appearance.
The 2007 United States Amateur Championship will be held August 20-26 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.
Alabama golfers Matthew Swan, Gator Todd and Matt Hughes are all in Woodstock, Ga., at the Capital City Club Tuesday and Wednesday competing for the spots in that U.S. Am Sectional qualifier.