19 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |
Time right for Thompson to turn
by Mark Hayes
There are few more level-headed young golfers than Jack Thompson.
So it’s with justifiable expectation – but also a smattering of reality – that the South Australian ace today takes his next step in golf.
Thompson, 23, a member at The Grange in Adelaide, has declared himself a professional and will play in upcoming events on the PGA Tour of Australasia – including his debut at The Players Series at Bonnie Doon from 4-7 March.
“I’m really excited to turn pro … the culmination of a lot things, really,” Thompson said.
“It’s difficult to have too many expectations and firm plans with all that’s going on in the world, but I think it’s the right time.
“And with the opportunity to play in these events in New South Wales and Queensland, it’s a great time to get started.”
Thompson, who equalled the amateur course record at Kooyonga and led for much of the Australian Amateur Championship last week, has been a standout for the past 2-3 years domestically and abroad.
In reaching a best world amateur ranking of 31, the sweet-swinging right-hander won the 2018 Riversdale Cup, represented Australia at the 2019 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, was the leading amateur at the 2019 Japan Open and lost a playoff after a two-man war with Japan Tour player Anthony Quayle at last year’s Isuzu Queensland Open.
Coach and Golf Australia’s South Australian high performance manager Adrian Wickstein said Thompson’s results had proven his ability to compete at the next level.
“His well-rounded game and ability to shoot very low rounds in tournament conditions leaves him in good stead to compete on any tour around the world,” said Wickstein, who said Thompson had used the pandemic downtime wisely.
“Jack has developed very well through Covid where he has had the opportunity to develop his body into something that is ready to take on a hefty load travelling around the world playing professional golf.”
Thompson said he would keep his options open about where he hoped to play.
“It might be more a matter of being able to get to Q-schools at the moment, but I’d love to play in Europe or Japan or the US … anywhere really, I’m just keen to get going.
“I’m just really grateful for everyone who has helped me get to this point and particularly all involved with the Golf Australia high performance program and SASI (South Australian Sports Institute).
“The way the program has worked for me since One Golf began has really helped me and I can’t thank the team enough.
“And I’d like to pay special thanks to my family and friends, I’m not sure if I’d be at this point without you all.”
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