Monday's ribbon cutting ceremony for The Coop, a new practice facility for the men's and women's golf teams, attracted a large range of people - Lexington County Council members, the mayor of Cayce, EPA officials, Athletics Director Eric Hyman and the teams themselves. Joining them was one special men's golf alum currently playing professionally on the PGA TOUR, Kyle Thompson, who came to town for the event.
"I just wanted to be a part of it. Being a part of the golf team is a big part of my history and I really wish we had had something like this when I was in school," Thompson said, smiling. "I think this is going to be huge especially on the recruiting trail. This is going to help put USC up with anybody in the country as far as facilities so I really think this will help us do what we need to do to compete for national championships."
Thompson (pictured left) has remained actively involved with the team, returning last fall for the program's Alumni Weekend and staying in contact with Director of Golf Puggy Blackmon regularly.
"It's important to me [to stay involved]. I try to help the kids out, tell them they can call me anytime with questions and I'm happy to try to share what I've learned in the last 10 years of pro golf. Nobody in the world wants to see them do better more than me...I'm a Gamecock to the core and I do whatever I can to help out."
Thompson's next PGA TOUR event is the Byron Nelson Championship next weekend in Texas after playing in one of his favorite events, the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, last week.
"The Wells Fargo last week in Charlotte is one of my favorites because it's so close to home; I live in Greenville. The support up there is amazing; it's just an incredible tournament."
Good luck to Kyle and we'll be cheering him on just like he cheers on the Gamecocks!