After a poor run of form over the first few weeks of the season Michael Thompson (pictured) never stopped believing in his ability and that thinking was vindicated when he won the Honda Classic on the US PGA Tour on Sunday afternoon. This is Thompson’s first win on the main Tour and followed missed cuts in three of his last four events and a tied 78th finish in the other.
Thompson has a reputation of playing well on difficult course. The PGA Champions host venue was set up like a major and the breezy conditions throughout the week only made scoring more difficult. Only five players broke par in the final round and one of those was Thompson who beat Geoff Ogilvy from Australia by two shots.
The Honda Classic winner finished tied second in the US Open last year. He set a clubhouse target that only Webb Simpson could beat to win the first major of his career. However, Thompson showed that he could maintain his form under intense pressure when par was a decent score. He played the back nine on Sunday in level par as other players faltered.
Thompson had his only bogey over the back nine when he missed a four foot putt on the 16th greens. At about the same time Ogilvy missed a birdie opportunity on the next hole and that missed chance proved crucial. Thompson got up and down from a green side bunker on the last hole to secure the win.
American players have now won the first nine tournaments on the 2013 PGA Tour schedule. That is an anomaly when you consider that are four English players in the top 10 in the world rankings. That includes Lee Westwood and Justin Rose who both failed to beat par on Sunday when in contention. In the end David Lynn finished joint best of the English contingent after one of the few sub par rounds.
Thompson now enters the top 50 in the world rankings and has a Tour exemption until the end of 2015. He qualifies for this week’s World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship and can plan a schedule safe in the knowledge that he has his card for almost the next three years.