Monday Finish: Thompson too good at TPC Twin Cities
July 27, 2020
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Michael Thompson’s winning highlights from 3M Open
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Well actually, I am crying. Right alongside Michael Thompson. Welcome to the Monday Finish where we dissect this dad's return to the winner's circle.
The 35-year-old pulled off an emotional win at the 3M Open this past weekend. It was his second PGA TOUR triumph, but first since 2013, and it came via a determined final round at TPC Twin Cities. The drought, spanning some 2,702 days, comes just a few months after he and his wife adopted their second child.
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS
1. Perseverance. So much can happen in 2,702 days. For Michael Thompson that represented the gap between his first and second PGA TOUR wins and as such a period of time he could have let frustration take over. Thompson has spent most seasons in a battle for his TOUR card, needing to grind his way over every start. His win at the 2013 Honda Classic helped him to a 66th-place finish in the FedExCup that season, the best of his career. He finished 117th the following season before dropping to 146th as his winner's exemption ran out. From conditional status he was 145th, 148th, and 142nd for the three seasons from 2016-2018 before regaining full status by getting to 89th last season. Even in the leaner years he found a way to earn more than 20 starts a year and keep his place amongst the elite. On Sunday, he stuck solid as well. With others trying to make a charge he persevered with his simple yet effective game plan of conservative golf. A bogey on the third hole was just his third, and last, of the week and a timely birdie on the 16th hole, via a clutch bunker shot, gave reward for all of his efforts.
2. Perspective. Through the tougher periods, Thompson gained even more perspective through becoming a father. With his wife Rachel the couple adopted two children. Three years ago it was son Jace and then this past March newborn daughter Laurel joined the family. The pandemic allowed Thompson to spend more time than usual with his kids and make a great connection with them. It helped create more balance between the grind of his golf and his home life and the results have now become clear. Read more here.
3. Putting. Thompson led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting with a +7.275 rank on the week. With 340-feet worth of made putts he had just three bogeys for the entire tournament. In the last four seasons Thompson ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting per round among players with at least 200 ShotLink measured rounds. “I played Michael Thompson golf, allowed my putter to speak volumes,” he said. Thompson can certainly roll the rock so to speak. Check out a closer look into his stats in Minnesota here.
Finau falls short again: Glass-half-full Tony Finau contended once again at a tournament with his T3 finish in Minnesota. Glass-half-empty Finau failed to convert another great chance for victory, and since his win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open he now has 30 top-10s, nine of them top 3s, without winning. With each missed chance a little more scar tissue grows, but he remains confident the elusive win is just around the corner. “They don't give out second‑place trophies, third‑place trophies, I've learned that the hard way with lot of them coming early in my career, but I continue to just believe and hope for the best for my future,” he said.
FedExCup focus: With just three weeks remaining before the top 125 players make the FedExCup Playoffs, it was a huge week for those trying to secure a spot. Thompson jumped 112 positions from 151st to 39th, a huge move that gives him a realistic shot at getting to the TOUR Championship where the final 30 players fight it out for the FedExCup and $15 million. It was a big week for a handful of others who also secured spots in the postseason. Emiliano Grillo (T3) pushed up from 122nd to 86th, Alex Noren (T3) jumped from 116th to 82nd and Cameron Davis (T12) improved from 112th to 98th. Others increased their chances at a Playoff run with time running out. Charl Schwartzel (T3) moved from 145th to 114th, Bo Hoag (T12) went from 131st to 119th and Nick Watney (T12) came in from 130th to 118th. Three huge names remain outside the 125. Former FedExCup champion Justin Rose is 127th, Sergio Garcia sits 130th while Brooks Koepka, who missed the cut in Minnesota, is languishing in 155th as he prepares to defend his World Golf Championships–FedEx St. Jude Invitational and PGA Championship titles over the next two weeks.
“It just means the world to me because it solidifies in my mind that I'm one of the best golfers in the world and that I can compete every single week out here.” – Michael Thompson
“This weekend I had nothing to lose, I'm in 50th place starting on Saturday morning. So tried to cruise up and here we are.” – Adam Long modestly describing a 63-64 weekend to finish second after making the cut on the number
The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 is a season-long competition that offers a $10 million bonus for the 10 golfers who end the regular season at the Wyndham Championship inside the top 10 in FedExCup points. The player atop the standings will earn $2 million, with varying payoffs for the others through $500,000 for the 10th place finisher.
There was no change in the top-10 after the 3M Open with runner up Adam Long making the closest move to the rewards zone. Long moved up to 20th spot to give himself a chance to make a run over the final three weeks that remain until the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Here’s how the standings look heading into this week’s World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship.
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK PLAYER 1. 1.
Justin Thomas 2. 2.
Patrick Reed 7. 7.
Collin Morikawa 8. 8.
Jon Rahm 9. 9.
Brendon Todd 10. 10.