Pittsford’s Thomson past eye surgery, ready for Monroe Invitational

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Will Thomson doesn’t want to make it an excuse, but he admits that recent surgery to repair a detached retina will likely allow him to play better golf.

“It would help, yeah,” he says with a smile.

Thomson is one of the 96 man field in Pittsford this week for the 80th Monroe Invitational which, like many golf events, is back after a one year hiatus.

His sophomore season at Texas did not start off well. He finished 85th at the Border Olympics to open the spring half of the year. He did bounce back for a top ten in his next event three weeks later, but did not play in any of the Longhorns’ postseason tournaments.

Thomson says the eye issue had nothing to do with his college performance this year. It’s something he noticed over the course of a couple months.

“I just knew my vision was looking a little bit weird. It’s a bit hard to explain, but glad we got it figured out and taken care of,” Thomson said. “It’s going the right direction now. I feel fine now. I feel as good, if not better as I did before.”

Thomson doesn’t get home to Rochester much anymore. His family is Florida based now, in part, to help Thomson nurture the golf talent that landed him in the U.S. Amateur at age 14.

He will be back home for the next few weeks to play in the Monroe and, later, at the Porter Cup in Buffalo. He’ll also take another run at qualifying for the U.S. Amateur.

Even though he’s a big fan of the course, Thomson didn’t get to play Monroe Golf Club a ton growing up. He would love to have success this week in his hometown.

“I was fortunate enough to do that at the NYS Am at Irondequoit (Country Club) a couple years ago, which was so much fun,” Thomson says. “This is an even bigger event with all these college guys. The field is getting a lot better, too. It’s really solid this year. If I can play well enough, would be really cool to do it at home.”

The improved field is not by accident. Tournament organizers with the Monroe Invitational are making a concerted effort to improve the quality and standing of the long running amateur event.

The move from early June to July is part of that endeavor. Early June includes the NCAA Championships and the U.S. Open, which regularly includes a few of the country’s top amateurs who earn a spot through open qualifying. Sliding the Monroe a month later allows more top players to sample the tradition and excellence of Rochester golf.

As a member of an elite golf team at Texas, Thomson has certainly noticed a difference.

“The layout, the condition (Monroe Golf Club) is always in, everybody would want to come play this golf course for a tournament,” Thomson said. “They always got the big names. Dustin (Johnson) used to play in it. Tiger came and played in it. It was always a solid event. It’s definitely going the direction where it could be one of the spots of the summer.”

It will be the spot where Thomson starts his summer of golf. Even if he is too humble to make the injury an excuse, Monroe could also be the spot where a fully healthy Thomson starts another run of golf success.

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