(UA) Michael Thompson, a senior on the University of Alabama golf team this past season, shot 1-over par, 72, in the final round of the 2008 U.S. Open in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday to medal as the tournament’s low amateur. The Tucson, Arizona native who is the 2008 Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year and the SEC Champion shot 74-73-73-72/292 to finish the tournament at 8-over par. He finished T-29th overall in the standings at Torrey Pines. An 18-hole playoff Monday between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate will determine the tournament’s champion.
“Oh, this is fantastic,” Thompson said in his post-match press conference when asked about making the cut, his finish and his upcoming trip to Scotland for the Palmer Cup. “Played well in the U.S. Open, my very first U.S. Open ever. To play this well is incredible. I’m just happy to be here and then in a couple weeks playing for the U.S., the Palmer Cup is, that’s going to be the time of my life. These three tournaments, the Masters, this one, and Palmer Cup is going to be awesome. It’s a great way to finish my amateur career. I can’t ask for anything better.”
Thompson’s final round on Sunday began with a bogey at No. 1 and would conclude with birdies on holes 3, 4, 7 and 11,and bogeys on 1, 6, 8, 12 and 16. He made nine pars in the round. Thompson was at even par Sunday after 15 holes before he bogeyed No. 16, a par 3. In all in his 72 holes of play, which began with the first round on Thursday, he made a total of 12 birdies, 42 pars, 16 bogeys and two double bogeys.
He will receive a U.S. Open medal as the low amateur, finishing five shots ahead of Oklahoma State’s Rickie Fowler and seven strokes ahead of 2008 Louisville senior Derek Fathauer who both also made the cut on Friday.
He was asked Sunday if he learned anything from his experience playing in this weekend’s U.S.Open. “I did,” said Thompson who played in the 2008 Masters as an amateur in March, compliments of his finalist finish at the 2007 U.S. Amateur. “I learned that I have a lot more composure than I thought I did. I really, I never gave up this week and I’m very proud of that.”