Over the last year he has played in two PGA Tour events. He finished 23rd at the RSM Classic at Sea Island and missed the cut at the Puerto Rico Classic. Since competition resumed this summer, he has reached the round of 16 at the North and South Amateur and the quarterfinals of the Western Amateur, two of the jewels on the summer amateur circuit.
Thompson is trying to become the second UGA golfer to win the U.S. Amateur championship. Vinnie Giles did it in 1972. His caddie will be his father, Todd Thompson, who knows a thing or two about championship golf. Thompson was captain of the Georgia golf team and helped the Bulldogs win an SEC championship.
“He helps me stay calm out there,” Thompson said. “I read my own putts and choose my own clubs, but it’s nice to know he’s there for me.” His dad worked the bag at the Jones Cup and in Puerto Rico.
Thompson operated the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour for 23 years before signing on as tournament director of the RSM Classic in 2017. He was scooting around Seaside last fall to make sure everything was running properly, but he always had an eye open on his son.
Although Thompson could have easily turned professional, he said there was never any doubt that he would return for his senior season. He will be part of a powerful team that includes four other teammates – Spencer Ralston, Trent Phillips, Trevor Phillips and Connor Creasy – who qualified for the U.S. Amateur and is expected to contend for the program’s third national championship.
Last month the PGA Tour revealed its new PGA Tour University, which rewards the best college golfers for completing four seasons, by extending an exemption into the developmental tours start the week after the NCAA Championship. Those ranked in the top five will gain a full exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour. Those ranked from 6-15 will be exempt on one of the three international tours.
Thompson watched the rankings announcement on Golf Channel and heard his name called at No. 4. Should he continue to play at his current level, Thompson would be able to skip past a lot of the travails faced by an aspiring young golfer and jump immediately to the Triple-A version of professional golf.
“My goal is to not really think about it that much,” Thompson said. “You got to play every tournament, play every golf course and try not to think about, even though it’s very important for when I get out of college. I’ll try to block that out and just play golf.”
Georgia Connections in U.S. Amateur
Marcus Byrd, Atlanta
Connor Creasy, University of Georgia
David Ford, Peachtree Corners
Maxwell Ford, Peachtree Corners
Doug Hanzel, Savannah
Alex Herrmann, Georgia State
Max Herrmann, Georgia State
Noah Norton, Georgia Tech
Andy Ogletree, Georgia Tech
Trevor Phillips, University of Georgia
Trent Phillips, University of Georgia
Spencer Ralston, University of Georgia
Bob Royak, Alpharetta
Ben Shipp, Norcross
Tyler Strafaci, Georgia Tech
Davis Thompson, University of Georgia