The post-round winner interview is a special thing in golf.
For those who win often, it becomes a formality — win, fist pump, hug the caddie, talk to the media. But occasionally, it offers a peek into a player’s deepest emotions. That was the case for Michael Thompson Sunday afternoon at TPC Twin Cities.
Thompson won for just the second time in a 10-year Tour career, and the first time since 2013. His birdie on the 18th hole netted him a 2-stroke win and just under $1.2 million dollars, but the real gain was far greater.
The win gave him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, it pushed him into the top 40 in the FedEx Cup, guaranteed him a spot in this year’s first two-majors (the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open) as well as an invite to next April’s Masters tournament.
“It’s been a long time,” Thompson said, choked up. “I’m really sad my wife and kids aren’t here to celebrate this with me. I can’t wait to see them. Babe, I love ya. I don’t know what else to say, this is so exciting.
“I just played such great golf today. Stayed within myself, believed in myself. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Amanda Balionis rattled off what the victory meant for Thompson’s status, and it became quickly apparent how important it was to him.
“It’s the world,” Thompson said. “It’s what makes this game so unbelievable. We have to play for our job every year. To know that I have security for two more years, and to get in to all those tournaments. One of my biggest goals was to get back to Winged Foot. That was my first U.S. Amateur. It’s my favorite golf course in the whole world. To get into the PGA [Championship] and get into next week (WGC-FedEx St. Jude) is just a huge bonus. I have to get my mind right for sweating next week [in Memphis], but, uh, oh man. It’s just so exciting.”