Alabama's Thompson Selected For Palmer

For the last three weeks, Michael Thompson has held a secret, no easy task given the magnitude. Afterall, it involves a career goal he has worked toward and hoped for a long time.



On Monday his secret was revealed. The senior from Tucson, Ariz., was one of eight men selected to the United States team for the 2008 Palmer Cup. The team was announced on Monday by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

"I found out probably three weeks ago," said Thompson, a University of Alabama senior. "It was pretty hard to keep quiet because it was very exciting."

He will be joined on the team by Kevin Chappell of UCLA, Louisville's Derek Falhauer, Rickie Fowler of Oklahoma State, San Diego's Aaron Goldberg, Chesson Hadley of Georgia Tech, Florida's Billy Horschel and Adam Mitchell of Georgia. The United States will be coached by Stanford's Conrad Ray.

The Palmer Cup is an annual Ryder Cup-style competition where the top collegiate players from the United States compete against their counterparts from Europe. The 2008 event will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, at the Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links June 26-27.

Thompson is the first Crimson Tide golfer to be chosen to the USA's Palmer Cup team; however Alabama has produced two men on the European Palmer Cup teams. Allan MacDonald played for Europe in 1997 and Lars Brovold for Europe in 2004. Former Tide golf coach Dick Spybey was the USA's Palmer Cup Team Manager in 1997 and the Tournament Director in 1998.

"It means a lot that I'm going to be playing for my country," said Thompson who won the Southeastern Conference's individual championship on Sunday, just barely a week after he competed as an amateur at the 2008 Masters Tournament. "It's an extreme honor to do that in athletics and in sports altogether. I missed out narrowly last year and I'm just glad I got a second chance this time around. I'm really, really looking forward to it. Plus, it's in Scotland, and I've never been there."

Thompson shot a 65 Sunday to lead Alabama to the 2008 SEC team championship, its first league title in 29 years and only its second ever in golf. He was a finalist at the 2007 U.S. Amateur and has a resume that includes five collegiate individual championships, a fourth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships, a 2007 amateur tournament victory at the Greystone Invitational, a second-place finish at the 2007 Players Amateur and a third-place finish at the 2007 Jones Cup, among others. The SEC's low stroke leader in 2008, Thompson is averaging 70.00 after 24 rounds in eight collegiate tournaments this season. He's finished under par in six of the eight tournaments he's competed and he has finished among the top 10 individuals in all eight events.

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