Thompson's Open rally likely falls short

June, 17, 2012
06/17/12
9:09
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- In Thursday's first round, Michael Thompson took the lead at the U.S. Open with a 4-under-par 66. To most observers, he had no chance of holding on to the lead through the weekend. He would falter with a second-round 75 then add a 74 on Saturday. But his first round had given him some breathing room to stay around the leaders.

On Sunday, Thompson shot a 3-under 67 to finish at 2-over par. He had four birdies and just one bogey, but his round could have been better. He missed a slightly breaking 6-footer for birdie on No. 17 that would have gotten him to 1-over par. And at the 18th, where perhaps the nerves finally got to him, he made two bad iron swings and struggled to make par.

"I knew from the beginning of the week if I can just shoot right around 1-over every day I would be happy," Thompson said. "I didn't expect at all to shoot under par, and then go out and shoot way under par really in a U.S. Open is kind of unbelievable."

It was a great tournament for the 27-year-old native of Tucson, Ariz., who was making only his second appearance in a U.S. Open. And he still has a chance to win the tournament or get into a playoff. When he finished his round at around 5:20 p.m. PT, he was 2 shots off Jim Furyk's even-par lead.

"There's a little hope, but I don't honestly expect anything," Thompson said about his chances of getting into a playoff. "For me, I'm so young in my career I'm just going to take this as a positive experience and build on it and hopefully gain some momentum for the rest of the year."

Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at evans.espn@gmail.com.

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