Michelle hits the comeback trail

Former Ladies European Tour player Michele Thomson showed her comeback is taking shape nicely after clinching her first WPGA One Day Series victory at Harpenden Common.

Thursday, 21st July 2011, 2:42 pm

Michelle, of McDonald Golf Club, Ellon, won the third one-day event of the year by just one shot ahead of Darlington’s Laura Harvey.

Two players tied for third spot, with Wessex Golf Centre’s Fern Grimshaw and Chelmsford’s Lucy Clarke - who won last month’s event at Chestfield - both carding rounds of 74.

But it was the McDonald player who took the honours - less than two years after apparently turning her back on the professional game.

The former Curtis Cup competitor and past Scottish women’s amateur champion lost her LET playing rights at the end of the 2009 season, and she gave up the game completely for several months saying she had been disillusioned by the step up to the LET.

But after working with Brian Connor, the head PGA professional at Manchester Golf Club. Thomson returned to her home town of Ellon and McDonald professional Sandy Aird took her on as a member of his staff at a club where she is an honorary member. She is now training to become a fully qualified PGA professional.

Thomson started playing golf at the age of 11 with her father, and started a sports coaching degree at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, USA, but left after four months in 2007 to pursue full time amateur golf before turning professional. In 2008, she was a GB&I Curtis Cup Team member.

In 2009 she played in seven events on the Ladies European Tour with a top finish of 14th.

Thomson said: “I drove down from Scotland for the Open qualifying and then played at Harpenden Common on the Wednesday.

“It all went to plan as regards my first One-Day Series win - but it’s difficult to know how much time I’ll be able to spare for all the events.

“Living in Scotland, it’s always a long way to travel - so we’ll have to see how it goes.

“But whenever I can make the One Day events, I will try to get there.”

She added: “I made six birdies but I also made two double bogeys. The conditions were quite tough; it was very windy out there.

“I’m delighted to have won but I’m not sure how the rest of the year is going to go.”

Speaking to the Times after the event, Michelle added that she was very pleased with the result, and that it had come as a welcome surprise.

“I took a year out from golf and didn’t play - I needed a break, and I had went off it. But I decided to get back into the sport, and am now in the process of doing my PGA degree at Birmingham University as a distance learning course.

“Obviously I’m delighted to have won - I didn’t expect it, though I did have a good run of results beforehand.”


Harpenden Golf Club, Wednesday 13 July 2011

Name, Club, Position, Score

Michele Thomson, McDonald: 1st, 72 (+1)

Laura Harvey, Darlington: 2nd, 73 (+2)

Fern Grimshaw, Wessex; Lucy Clarke, Chelmsford; 3rd equal, 74 (+3)

Kelly Hanwell, Rugby; Alison Gray, Ormskirk; Joanne Oliver, Knebworth; Rachel Lomas, Naas: 5th equal, 75 (+4)