Media accounts this morning rightly concentrated on Adam Scott’s gutsy victory at the Masters Sunday, but stories of perseverance also deserve telling.
On Saturday, Michael Thompson had a miserable third round in his first Masters as a pro, shooting a 7-over-par 79, which included five bogeys, two double-bogeys, and only two birdies. But yesterday he came back strong, shooting one of the best rounds of the tournament, a 5-under-par 67, leaving him in a tie for 25th place.
What contributed to the turnaround? Thompson, who previously played in the Masters as an amateur in 2008 and qualified for this year’s tournament by winning his first-ever PGA Tour event last month, the Honda Classic, told his fans last week about how he used to handle bad days on the course: “If I played well, I was happy. If I didn’t, I was miserable to be around.” But he added, “God gave me this gift of golf. My purpose and what I have to do because He gave me this gift, is to go out and work as hard as I possibly can, go out and enjoy every minute on the course, and run the race.”
When Thompson was on the University of Alabama golf team, he attended a team Bible study, but said he went only to be a good sport. But his faith slowly grew, and he professed faith in Christ in 2010, two years after graduating from college. Thompson, who turns 28 tomorrow, now regularly attends a Bible study during tournament weeks with fellow PGA Tour players.
On his Twitter account—where Thompson proclaims, “I love Jesus Christ, my wife, and golf. 3rd year pro on the PGA Tour and having fun!”—he retweeted just prior to Sunday’s final round, “He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.”