Senior golfer TJ Thompson commits to play collegiate golf at the University of West Florida


Quinn Braun

Senior TJ Thompson commits to the University of West Florida for golf. He has been a strong contributor towards the success of the MSD golf team in the 2022 season.

Ryan Shimony, Sports Editor

Just four feet away, senior TJ Thompson lines up his shot before he attempts to put the ball into the hole and defeat Boca High School and win back-to-back district championships. Thompson then proceeds to line up his putter and feet at the ball. With his teammates, coaches and other spectators all watching the shot, Thompson proceeds to make the shot and helps the Eagles take home the district championship title for two consecutive years.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School golf team has been able to consistently put successful seasons together. During the past four seasons, a large amount of this success has been brought by senior TJ Thompson.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, he announced his commitment to play college golf at the University of West Florida. This is a very competitive school, since it is currently ranked fourth in the south region of NCAA Division II golf. This is a journey that Thompson is excited to be a part of.

“I love the program that Coach Fell is building in Pensacola. I really enjoy the atmosphere and the area. It just felt like home when I went to visit, and I can’t wait to get up there and get to work,” Thompson said.

The success of every athlete’s career always starts somewhere. For Thompson, golf began from his grandfather. His grandfather, being an avid golfer, built the foundation of Thompson’s game. Thompson picked up this habit at the age of five and started playing the sport competitively during high school.

Golf is known to be one of the most challenging sports in the world, mentally and physically. The game requires a significant amount of skill and consistency. However, the toughest part is the mental aspect of golf. It can be really tough to forget about a bad shot or hole and move on during a match.

“I love the grind,” Thompson said. “I want to struggle on the golf course and be able to come back and be better and save a round while still shooting a good score.”

There are so many different components in the golf swing that can trigger many different effects of the golf ball. Just one minor error in the motion can lead to many mistakes. The sport requires a lot of hard work and practice to keep a consistent and stable swing.

“I just practiced a bunch,” Thompson said. “I learned from my mistakes at a young age and I wanted to improve and get better from it.”

Besides being such a talented golfer, Thompson is a great person and mentor. He is always looking out for people and goes out of his way to help others.

“TJ is always there for me whenever I need help and is always pushing me to be the best I can be,” junior and teammate Jayden Thurasingham said.

To Thompson, just going out every day and practicing is not as easy as it may sound to others. There is a lot of motivation that athletes need to have in order to achieve success. For most people, including Thompson, motivation is inspired by winning.

“[My] motivation is that I always want to win,” Thompson said. “There is never a reason to play in a tournament if you do not want to win.”

When Thompson finishes his senior year of high school in 2023, he will begin the next step of his life-long adventure. He is unsure of what the future holds, as he focused on playing the best golf that he is capable of for the next couple of years at the University of West Florida.