2008 Masters: Thompson acts like a pro
Monday, March 28, 2011
Augusta, Ga. | Alabama senior Michael Thompson missed the Masters cut, but he left the tournament and the game in better shape. His unselfish act on the 15th hole April 11 proved again why golf is probably the most honorable of all sports.
The Tucson, Ariz., native stood over a birdie putt in Round 2 that would have taken him to 3 over and into the weekend had he made it and maintained that score over the final three holes. However, his ball moved a fraction of an inch before he could draw the putter back.
Thompson, who turned 23 April 16, impressed everyone when he immediately informed a rules official. Thompson had no option but to replace the ball and add a one-stroke penalty to his card.
“You have to follow the rules, and the best players do that,” Thompson said.
He bogeyed that hole and the 16th and 17th and missed the cut by four. It wasn’t the first time he called a penalty on himself; Thompson had a similar incident in high school.
“That’s the person I am. I’m very honest and trustworthy,” he said. “I don’t want to cheat.”
That it happened at Augusta was not lost on aficionados of the game.
Playing partner Ben Crenshaw has seen much in his long career. What Thompson did impressed the two-time Masters champion.
“He handled himself beautifully,” Crenshaw said. “You should not dismiss lightly what he did.”
Augusta founder Bobby Jones once famously called a penalty on himself. When lauded for his action, he uttered the memorable remark: “You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”