CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Micaa’ Thomas, Junior Golfer On The Rise
Micaa’ Thomas is much more than a seasoned golf enthusiast. This junior golfer has an impressive list of tournaments under her belt and, is looking to add a few more notches.
She was born in Beaumont, Texas and recalls, “I enjoyed the warm climate.” Nowadays, she resides in Bowie, Maryland—where weather patterns are quite a bit different—and, where the change of seasons distinctly happens. Micaa’ attends Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn, Maryland, maintains a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. In college, she plans to major in 3D Animation and Visual Effects.
During golf season, Micaa’ regularly practices 4-5 times a week and enjoys rounds at The Langston Golf Course, Washington, DC (6 years), Glenn Dale Golf Course, Glenn Dale, MD (6 years) and Crofton Country Club, Crofton, MD (2 years). During winters, the admitted Lasagna lover exercises regularly to remain flexible and, be fit for the next season.
At 5’3” she packs a powerful swing and has received training by the Terry Schaffer Golf Academy (Swing Coach), Joe Lussier (Short Game Coach), and Tony Bryan (Golf Fitness Trainer). Yes, Micaa’ has all of her bases covered. She has even had a golf assessment on the Trackman diagnostic machine to determine her swing pattern and to identify adjustments needed through instruction by her swing coach. Her biggest challenge? “The mental game. I have learned techniques on how to remain focused during matches and how to overcome distractions on the course,” she confides.
When asked how she got into golf, Micaa’ says, “My mother, Cheryl, was intrigued by the sport and was taking lessons in San Leandro, CA., while she was pregnant with me. Following this period, while attending middle school in Maryland and participating in various team sports: basketball, swimming, tennis, soccer and softball, she was often bullied, her mother states. At the age of 10, my mother decided to schedule me for summer golf lessons at the Glenn Dale Golf Course (Glenn Dale, MD). Once I learned the fundamentals of the golf swing, my mother noticed I was hitting the ball farther than some of the men at the driving range. “
Off the course, Micaa’ is a creative soul and enjoys painting and drawing. And, she’s pretty good at it too. She has painted a picture of a beautiful hole on a golf course in West Palm Beach, Florida that resulted in her winning a regional art contest in Maryland, and, it was entered into a national competition, as well.
Micaa’ is driven by competition and this past September, competed at the Nature Valley First Tee Golf Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
This event is very competitive nationwide. Only 81 junior golfers (boys and girls) are selected for a one time only opportunity to be a part of this unique experience. The event paired Micaa’ with a Champions Tour player Olin Browne (photo: Micaa’ with Olin Brown).
It was a highly contested event and was televised on The Golf Channel. In the opening round, Micaa’ hit her approach shot on the Par-5, 14th Hole, to within one inch of the hole and would eventually tap in for birdie. “I feel so blessed and fortunate to have an opportunity to compete at one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world,” Micaa’ said in a statement prior to the tournament, affirming that playing with the Champions Tour professionals for her is, “a dream come true.”
Micaa’ Thomas nearly holes eagle approach at Nature Valley First Tee Golf Championship at Pebble Beach
On the first day of the golf championship, Micaa’ had 3 birdies and a host of pars, she scored very well on the course. In fact, she received a vast amount of air time in being interviewed for her fantastic golf performance. Her father, Michael Thomas, was most excited about his daughter being named by The Golf Channel, as having the “Shot of the Day!” A huge honor.
On the second day, Micaa’ and professional golfer Olin Browne played at Poppy Hills. “This course resembles Pinehurst Two, in North Carolina, with ‘turtleback’ greens—it’s incredibly challenging, to say the least. At Poppy Hills, if you do not land on a flat part of the greens, which is very small, then your ball will roll off,” says, her father Michael. The course manager and locals verified that the greens were completely new and the locals had no read on them, other than to say, good luck. Micaa’ walked away with one birdie and Olin had 6 birdies.
Since there are 81 golfers nationwide for this tournament, there is a cut after the second day, down to the top 23 professionals and junior golfers. Micaa’ and Olin had to wait until 8:00 p.m., Pacific Time to learn of their status in regards to the cut. Micaa’ and Olin Browne ranked 8th of 81 after two rounds of golf. Afterwards, Olin complimented Micaa’ on her play, stating, “You saved us on the first day!” On the remaining two days, she had phenomenal performances as well. At the end of the tournament, Micaa’ tied for 15th out of 81 junior golfers.
Micaa’ over the course of this past summer, has been gaining lots of exposure for her skills. An article detailing her achievements appeared in the Capital Gazette, a local Maryland newspaper, showcasing her awesome Sports Illustrated feature, where the Archbishop Spalding golfer appeared in the “Faces in the Crowd” Section of Sports Illustrated’s Aug. 11 issue.
As a rising senior who medaled in last season’s Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Championship, Micaa’ earned her spot in the magazine by winning the 16 age Division at the Veritas World Junior and AAU Junior Olympic Games, on July 24th, in the Los Angeles area, at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club. In the international tournament, she scored an amazing 232 shots over three days with a 33 on her final nine holes.
It was a busy summer for Micca’:
Jun 9-13, 2014: Participant at the International Junior Golf Association Golf Academy, Hilton Head, SC. She was given a golf performance assessment by PGA Golf Professionals and competed among other players from around the country.
Jun 14-18, 2014:Participant in Bill Dickey’s Golf Invitational Scholarship Tournament, Alpharetta, GA. Micaa’ scored a “Hole in One” during the tournament and won several prizes. She competed very well and was declared the Girl’s Net Champion. There were even several college golf coaches interested in recruiting Micaa’ following the event.
July 2014, volunteered as a Marshall at the Inaugural LPGA International Crown Championship at the Caves Valley Golf Club, Owing Mills, MD.June 2014: Interviewed by Channel 9-TV while competing in the Quick & Loans Pro AM PGA Championship, (First Tee Member event), at Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, MD. She competed with PGA Professionals and Special Olympic Athletes. Over the past 4 years, she has served as a Standing Bearer at the Congressional Country Club. In 2013, she was a Standing Bearer for Ricky Fowler, PGA Tour Golfer, at the Tiger Wood’s AT&T National Golf event.
This past June, Micca’, a 1.6 handicapper, helped the Maryland State Golf Association junior team win the Poindexter Cup over Virginia, for the first time since 2009. In singles match play, she defeated her Virginia State Golf Association competitor, 3-0, as Maryland won five of the eight matches to seal the victory.
On this path, we’re sure Micca’ is well on her way to soon becoming a household name.
This article was provided by Debert Cook from African-American Golf’s Digest