Michael Thompson has held his nerve to go one better then his second place at the 2012 US Open, winning The Honda Classic at the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Thompson started the final round at -8 in a tie for the lead with Luke Guthrie, but a solid putting display saw Thompson maintain the lead throughout the final 18 holes to card a final round 1-under (69)while most of the field faltered around him.
The Alabama resident kick-started his final round draining a bomb on the Par 5, 3rd for an eagle and always held a 2 or 3 shot lead for the opening 9 holes making the turn -1 par for the day.
Thompson started the inward nine with some wayward approach shots, finding the pine needles on 10 and just clearing the hazard on 11 but his pinpoint short game and clutch putting saw the 27-year-old save par on each occasion.
His first blemish came on the Par 4, 16th as Thompson’s par attempt was hit too firm and lipped out, but pars on the tricky Par 3, 17th and a birdie on the 18th saw Thompson win his second career title, but first on the PGA Tour by two-shots.
“This week was magical. I had a groove and I kept feeling it. It’s just a magical experience,” Thompson said.
It was a massive turn around in form for Thompson who had only recorded 1 FedEx Cup point so far this season, after making just 1 cut from 4 attempts before this weeks success, which earned him 500 FedEx Cup points and moves him into 11th spot in the season rankings.
Geoff Ogilvy was hot on Thompson’s tail all afternoon, opening his round with 13 pars through his first 14 holes. A chip-in birdie from the back of 16 saw the Australian move within 2 shots of the lead, and a tap in birdie on 18 saw him finish two-shots behind, but there are plenty of positives for Ogilvy to take from the week.
“I played really well, frustrating with the putter,” Ogilvy said. “I’m happy with the way I hit the ball. Anything under par on a day like today is a good score.”
Although Ogilvy didn’t win this week, the second place finish elevates him into the world’s top 50 which gives him a spot in next week’s WGC event in Doral as he looks towards securing a Masters berth in April.
Third round co-leader, Luke Guthrie was brave in defeat finishing in outright third position despite carding a final round of 73. Lee Westwood and Charles Howell III were both in contention at the start of the day, but they had rounds to forget shooting 74 and 78 respectively on the tough par 70 layout.
1. Michael Thompson -9 67 65 70 69 (271)
2. Geoff Ogilvy -7 68 66 70 69 (273)
3. Luke Guthrie -5 68 63 71 73 (275)
T4. David Lynn -3 72 68 68 69 (277)
T4. Lucas Glover -3 69 66 72 70 (277)
T4. Erik Compton -3 69 68 70 70 (277)
T4. Keegan Bradley -3 68 68 70 71 (277)
T4. Justin Rose -3 68 66 72 71 (277)