What they said: Michael Thompson

July 22, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Canadian Open transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Michael Thompson here to the interview room after the second round. Great playing, 66, currently tied for the lead going into the weekend. If we could just get some thoughts about your round? Obviously you've been playing flawless golf since your double in the first round, so if you could just talk to us about how you're playing and the course.

MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, having a great tournament. I've been working hard on the range this week and really trying to be confident with the swings that I make because this is a tight golf course. The rough's thick, and there is a real priority on hitting it in the short grass.

So ever since that double, really that was the only bad hole I've had in two days. I've been playing really well, putting well. The greens are really good. I think they're a perfect speed for the type of golf course that we're playing. You know, just excited to be here. Excited to have the opportunity to be in one of the last groups tomorrow. I'm just going to have fun.

Q. Just wondering how accurate you've been off the tee and what you've been hitting in order to do that??

MICHAEL THOMPSON: Well, it's not like I've been hitting every fairway. I only hit 7 fairways today, which normally wouldn't be that great, but I got lucky a couple of times in the first cut. A couple other times I had good lies in the rough where I could get it on the green or at least get it up near the green.

My short game, my putting and chipping has been really solid this past two days. Which, on a golf course like this, is what you need because you're not going to hit a lot of fairways and you're not going to hit a lot of greens.

Q. Is this the tightest golf course you've played in the last few years??

MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, I think so. I played on the Hooters Tour last year which there's no rough. You just take your driver out and kill it. So it's been a learning process being out on the PGA TOUR this year. Learning to control my driver, hitting it to a distance rather than just swinging out of my shoes. I feel like I'm getting into a really good rhythm.

Q. Just curious, how was the U.S. Amateur set-up in 2007 where you were the finalist? I realize it's Match Play, but still it's a USGA event?

MICHAEL THOMPSON: Very similar. The rough probably wasn't as bad. But being an Olympic club where you have a lot of doglegs with the slope falling away from the dogleg a lot of times when you're in the rough. So it's very similar.

Basically what I've learned on a golf course like this is you pick your line and you get really focused in on that on your target. If you can do that, then that will allow you to make a good swing.

On top of that, just accepting where it goes. If it goes in the rough, you deal with it. There's no reason to freak out or panic. There are ways you can make par, and I've been doing that really well this week.

Q. For those of us who don't follow golf regularly, I imagine this is your best performance of the year. Could you walk us through your year and was something building toward this is??

MICHAEL THOMPSON: Yeah, this is my fifth tournament in a row, and currently the best stretch I've played all year. I got off to a rough start kind of getting used to the PGA TOUR and the lifestyle and the people at each event. Trying to find my own place. In the last few months I've really begun to find my comfort zone, so to speak.

My breakthrough tournament was actually the Travelers Championship in Hartford. I finished fourth. Shot a final round 62 and vaulted up the leaderboard, which really gave me a lot of confidence, especially being my fifth cut made in a row, that's really big for me as well.

I pride myself in having good finishes, whether -- I don't have to win, you know. That's not the most important thing to me. The thing that I want to improve on is just that I try to get better every day. And these last really two months have been awesome, even the missed cuts before the last five weeks.

So I'm really just kind of going with the flow and learning and experiencing. I'm still young. I'm 26, and there is a lot of golf ahead of me.

Q. There's been a lot of talk this week with guys not that happy with the length of the rough. Do you think if you start out with a decent attitude on that that you can kind of make that not happen or is it something you've got to deal with no matter how you approach it??

MICHAEL THOMPSON: It's kind of a cliche saying that everybody's got to play the same golf course. So if you go in with that attitude, you know you're going to get bad lies. I haven't been exempt from having bad lies.

I had a bad lie on 3. I hit it over the green, and the ball was just nestled down in the rough. Looked like somebody had stepped on it and made bogey. It's just going to happen, you know. If you can -- if you can have the right mindset in terms of I go out on par-4, and if I hit it in the rough and I have a bad lie, I immediately start thinking par-5. You play at the par-5, and you lay-up to a good number, you hit a wedge shot on the green 10, 15 feet, and you've got a birdie putt.

If you miss it, then whatever. You did everything right in the process, and that's what's most important. The more you can stay in the process, the easier this game becomes. Hopefully I can keep that going for the next two days.

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