Davis Thompson is filling the role of the fast-starting amateur at this year’s United States Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y. While he’s still near the top, here’s the lowdown.
What Has He Accomplished?
Thompson is a senior at the University of Georgia, where he was a finalist for the college player of the year award. Georgia has produced a number of PGA players, including Bubba Watson.
Thompson’s amateur wins include the 2020 Jones Cup Invitational, an event in Georgia previously won by Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed.
Thompson is currently the fourth-ranked amateur golfer in the world, which qualified him for the U.S. Open. He has played in two PGA Tour events this season, finishing tied for 23rd at the R.S.M. Classic in Georgia, where his father is tournament director, and missing the cut at the Puerto Rico Open. He has never previously played in a major.
How Did He Do Thursday?
Thompson got off to a fast start, birdieing six, seven and eight, then adding another at 11 to briefly lead the tournament.
He came back down to earth at the end of his round, bogeying three late holes to finish at minus-1, four strokes off the lead.
Perhaps he was helped by playing with two Georgia alums, Harris English and Brendon Todd. They each did him one better, shooting minus-2.
Thompson’s caddie is his father, Todd, who also played golf for Georgia.
What Did He Say?
“I mean I’m nervous, but that also just comes with it,” he told the Georgia student publication Red and Black before the tournament. “This is my first major ever, you only get one, so I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.”
“I got off to a great start,” he told Golf Week after his round. “I hit a lot of fairways coming out of the gate, which kind of gave me a lot of comfort at the start. Then I just missed a few fairways coming in and had to hack it out and try to get up and down. Unfortunately, I didn’t,”
Is It Time to Get Excited?
Maybe not. It’s not uncommon for amateurs to fire off a good first round at majors.
At least year’s Open, Viktor Hovland was four shots off the pace after a round and wound up 12th. That was better than expectation, actually.
In 2018, Luis Gagne and Will Grimmer were four strokes back. They finished 48th and 66th. In 2017 it was Scottie Scheffler. He wound up 27th.
Thompson and his fellow Georgia Bulldogs tee off at 12:54 Eastern on Friday.