Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Top-10 finish great for local star

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A top-10 finish at the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship will have some value to Southwood's Bret Thompson.

After a final round of one-over 71 put him in a tie for eighth at 3-under-par 279 for four days, the Simon Fraser University golfer declared the week a success.

"That I can hold up under pressure for the most part," Thompson said, asked what he might have gotten out of the week. "Besides yesterday (Round 3) , when I kind of lost it a bit, but today I know I could have probably gotten pretty angry when I was three over through 10 and I kind of just said, 'Keep playing, see what happens,' and I found that I was three back with four to go.

"I hit a good shot on the 15th and the hole after that I hit a good putt and lipped out.

"So it could have been good, but I'm happy with the finish.

Thompson was three-over through 10 then came back with his only two birdies of the day on 12 and 13.

"It feels good," he said of his day. "I played solid golf this week. I was a bit nervous on the first tee (Thursday) and bogeyed. But after that I kind of settled down and it was tough today with the wind and especially here, you just never really know where the wind is coming from.

"It kind of fooled me on a couple of shots, good ones that didn't end up as close as I would have liked. But it was good. I was three-over through 10 and didn't feel like I was playing that bad. I felt like I was playing as good as I had any of the other rounds but the wind was fooling around a bit and I missed one or two short putts."

Thompson sounded like he's putting as much, if not more value in his week at the Canadian Amateur than winning the 2014 Manitoba Match Play title in June.

"They're different," he said. "In match playing, you can go and play great and lose to a guy who makes tons of birdies. And you could also go and play bad and beat a guy who is also playing bad. This is more a test of consistency so I learned a lot about that and staying in the moment and not thinking of score too much."

NOTES: Three different players, Corey Conners, Jonathan Garrick and Rico Hoey, held the outright lead after Thursday's round began before backing up, leaving James Beale to claim the title in a playoff. That plot had some similarities to the Day 4 carnage of the 2009 Manitoba men's amateur at Elmhurst, where top-end competitors left blood all over the fairways and veteran Garth Collings was the last man left standing.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 8, 2014 C6

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