/There’s no quit in Braden Thornberry

There’s no quit in Braden Thornberry

He’s playing alongside 155 professionals at the North Mississippi Classic, a new stop in the PGA’s web.com Tour. He’s feeling ill with a sore throat. It didn’t matter that Thornberry made two triple bogeys on Thursday and one double, en route to a score of 75. He didn’t seem flustered and certainly didn’t give up. Thornberry shot round 69 in windy conditions at the hilly Country Club of Oxford. He made it to the final round and gave himself the chance, at the least, of still winning the tournament. His father Les Thornberry, who was part of a large gallery that followed his son’s group, said, “There’s not quit in that boy.” Braden Thornberry went from being tied for 102nd on Thursday to a tie with 45th on Friday. He clearly intends to move up Saturday. The 21-year old Southaven native stated that a 65 or 66 is possible if he can hit the ball as solidly and make putts. That would get me back in the game. This is the first time I have shot 64 on this course in a college qualifying round. It wasn’t as difficult as it was right now, but it could be done.” Thornberry won the Old Waverly Collegiate at West Point on Monday and Tuesday. Thornberry won the school record 11th college tournament by five shots with a score of 71-67-666. Except for morning classes, he had Wednesday off. He then went to Country Club of Oxford’s afternoon practice. He attended class again on Thursday. He went straight from a psychology class and then teeing it against the pros. He played better than 75 sounds Thursday. Thornberry stated that he was unable to make eight strokes because of three bad swings. Although he made five birdies on Thursday, he was more than overwhelmed by the double bogey and two triples that were all due to errant tee shots. He completed his round at night and didn’t leave the course until 8 p.m. because he was mentally exhausted and physically sick. Friday was a completely different day. Thornberry missed many birdie opportunities and hit only 15 greens in regulation. He shot five birdies and two bogeys, as well as two mammoth shots. His fourth hole, a par 5, 607 yard par 5, saw him reach the green where he made a birdie. Thornberry isn’t short, but his ability to play from 100 yards or more is what makes him the best amateur golfer in the world. The kid is a natural at getting the ball in the hole. Chris Malloy, Ole Miss’ golf coach, said that Thornberry is “as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.” Thornberry was hitting the ball much better than “remotely acceptable” Friday. Maybe that’s why he believes he can still win. He said, “I’m going be seven to eight shots back probably going in to Saturday.” “At Memphis last season (the PGA Tour’s Fed Ex St. Jude Classic),” he said. He was nine back, then shot rounds of 67 to 65 to tie for fourth. This would have netted him approximately $250,000 if he was a professional. He defeated the spikes of Mickelson and Cink, Koepka (Koepka), Poulter, and Goosen. Many people believed he would turn professional later in the summer. He did not. He may not be this summer. “I am exploring all options, but at the moment the plan is to attend Ole Miss next school year as a senior.” First there are the final rounds of the tournament and then the SEC Tournament next Wednesday. He’ll then defend his NCAA title. He’ll also be back in Memphis in June. He won’t be slowing down in his busy schedule.