With the weather getting nicer, I have started thinking about summer sports. Being from Minnesota, where everyone bundles up for half the year, I have also started to think about guys looking hot in the warmer temperatures. So I thought to myself, why not take a look at some college golfers? As luck would have it, one of the Verizon Showcase players of the week is Michael Thompson. As you can see, he’s one to watch.
Besides the obvious beautiful eyes, there is more to his story. I’ll explain, after the jump.
Here are some of the impressive stats racked up so far by Michael Thompson:
– Ranked no. 2 in Arizona and in the Top 20 of junior players nationally as a senior at University High School
– Named Player of the Year by the Junior Golf Association of Arizona and two different newspapers
– Twice won the Gil Campos Award as the most promising underclassman on his high school team
– 2005 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Male Golfer of the Year
– Qualified for the Honor Roll all four years of high school
– 2007 Academic All-SEC (accounting major)
– 2007 Greystone Invitational chamption at 16-under par, the amateur tournament’s record
Michael Thompson began his college career at Tulane University, but left when their golf program disbanded after Hurricane Katrina. He then elected to go to the University of Alabama and is currently ranked 6th by the Golfweek Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. Thompson was one of only three amateurs at the Masters this past April. He qualified by placing second at the 2007 US Amateur tournament.
It seems that in addition to looking good while playing, Michael Thompson also has an incredible sense of honor, as well as being strong in character. Maybe he gets that from being an Eagle Scout. While battling for a chance to make the cut on the 15th hole at Augusta in Friday’s second round, he noticed the ball move slightly when he grounded his putter. Under the rules, Thompson called a penalty stroke on himself. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Thompson was clearly rattled and bogeyed the next three holes, finishing with a 78 and missing the cut by 4 strokes.
As reported in Golf Week, Bobby Jones would have been proud. Jones once called a penalty on himself, and when complimented for his action, Jones said, “You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.” Thompson, who is probably too young to have heard of the Bobby Jones’ incident, simply said about his own decision, “That’s the person I am. I’m very honest and trustworthy. I don’t want to cheat.”
Even Ben Crenshaw remarked on Thompson’s act, “He handled himself beautifully. … You should not dismiss lightly what he did.” And CBS analyst David Feherty added, in his classic golf reporting accent, “He can be very, very proud. It shows the type of character he has.”
Thompson had his dad caddy for the Par 3 Contest, where he ended up tied for fourth at 2-under-par with Ben Crenshaw and Fred Couples, just three shots behind the winner, Rory Sabbatini.
After this, he did go on to shoot a 7-under-par 65 to win the individual crown and lead Alabama to its second Southeastern Conference golf championship. It looks like he has his confidence back. He even had the opportunity to shake Jack Nicklaus’ hand at the Masters, and he was announced as a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top male college golfer.
He will be playing in his first U.S. Open in June. It will be fun to see how he does. We’ll see him again, I’m sure. How many of you ladies will be rooting for him?