The hot summer for former Kansas University golfers continued Thursday when Chris Thompson fired an opening-round 7-under par 64 in the Midwest Classic at LionsGate in Overland Park.
Thompson, 35 and a resident of Lawrence, shot 33 on the front, 31 on the back, and did not card worse than a par all day. He went as many as three consecutive holes without a birdie just once. Dating back to Saturday’s final round of a mini-tour event he won in Arkansas, Thompson’s last three scores on three different courses have been 62, 65, 64.
Thompson isn’t having nearly as lucrative a summer as fellow former Jayhawk Gary Woodland, who ranks 13th on the PGA Tour money list with $2,840,349, but he has collected higher purses than any other year as a professional. He has earned about $70,000 playing mini-tour events. This is his second Nationwide Tour event of the summer, the first coming two weeks ago. The Nationwide is the second-most prestigious tour in the country, ranking behind only the PGA Tour.
Thompson enters today’s second round with Will Dodson, one of his two playing partners for the first two rounds, a stroke behind four golfers tied for first. J.J. Killeen, one of the four leaders, ranks second on the Nationwide Tour in earnings and first in putts-per-greens-in-regulation.
Thompson is scheduled to tee off at 2:30 p.m. today in the tournament that concludes Sunday.
The winning share of the $550,000 for the Midwest Classic is $112,500.