SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. Playing a fellow Tucson native in the third round, the University of Alabama’s Michael Thompson has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 U.S. Amateur.
The Crimson Tide’s senior golfer, who is the nation’s No. 9 ranked amateur, defeated No. 3 ranked amateur and Wake Forest senior Webb Simpson 4 and 3 in the first round of match play at The Olympic Club in San Francisco on Wednesday. Simpson, a U.S. Amateur semifinalist last year, is a member of the USA’s Walker Cup team and was Golfweek’s/Titleist Rankings Amateur of the Year in 2006.
Thompson, a Ping All-American as a junior at Alabama this past season, played two rounds of match play on Thursday. In the first of those matches Thompson defeated Ooltewah, Tenn., native Bryce Ledford in 20 holes. And in third round match play Thursday afternoon, he drew fellow Tucson native, David McDaniel. McDaniel is a senior at the University of Arizona who played one season for the Wildcats’ golf team. Thompson defeated him 2 and 1 to advance. He’ll face Derek Fathauer, in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Fathauer, a University of Louisville golfer, defeated stroke play medalist and top seed Jason Kokrak 6 and 4 to advance to the quarterfinal.
This is Thompson’s third appearance at the U.S. Amateur but the first time he has made the cut to match play.
Alabama’s Mark Harrell, who is also making his third U.S. Amateur appearance and finished second in stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, made it to the second round of match play Thursday morning before he was defeated. Harrell, a senior on the Alabama team who competed in the U.S. Open as an amateur in June, lost 2 and 1 to Kokrak. Harrell defeated Phil Hendrickson of Danville, Ky., 2 and 1 in the first round of match play on Wednesday.