Aug 5, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorP.J. Thomas is now a University of Wyoming golfer.
The Riverton High School graduate recently made things official after he signed a national letter of intent to play for the Pokes this fall under the direction of coach Joe Jensen.
Thomas started his college golf career two years ago at Montana-State Billings. Thomas spent last year at UW as a full-time student.
"I'm really looking forward to being on the team," Thomas said. "It has been a thrill for me to play at Riverton, and then work hard and make it to a Division I school."
Thomas said his successful summer on the golf course had Jensen talking to him in June and July.
"I have competed well in tournaments and play at the level that I know that I can play," Thomas said. "Previous years, I didn't put up the numbers that I should have. Things just clicked this year. I played a lot better."
Thomas will have three years left to play for the Cowboys.
"My whole thing with my game is not to overthink it," Thomas said. "I need to go out there and have fun. I just need to play my game and not worry about everybody else."
"P.J. has always been a solid player," Jensen said. "P.J. has made a nice jump this summer from a local player to a national caliber type of player. I love Wyoming kids and regional kids. I just feel like if they are good solid kids then we can go compete at a national level."
The low numbers by Thomas this summer made him an easy choice for the UW roster.
"Golf is pretty clear cut," Jensen said. "It's based on the numbers. He just started to play bigger in better events. I like the look in P.J.'s golf swing. I see an upside with P.J."
Jensen wants Thomas to follow his own game plan while he is at Laramie.
"I want them to work hard in school," the UW coach said. "I want them to work hard in our offseason program and work hard in our training session. If they do that then good things will happen on the golf course. I believe that he will be a very nice contributor. "
Thomas will be jumping on a UW team that finished in eighth-place last year at the Mountain West Conference tournament. There are eight teams in the MWC. San Diego State won the MWC title, and TCU finished in second-place.
The fall season will start in September for the Pokes. The MWC tournament is in May.
"It will be a blast going to different places," Thomas said. "I will be able to play some great golf courses along the way."
Thomas made noise in May when he won a U.S. Open qualifying round at the Riverton Country Club.
The victory put Thomas into a sectional round in Houston, Texas.
Thomas had rounds of 77 to 75 for a two-total of 152 to finish 8-over.
Thomas was tied for 44th place out of 56 golfers in the field.
"Going to the U.S. Open qualifying round was a big deal," Thomas said.
Thomas finished third in a Wyoming Golf Association match play tournament in Green River.
Thomas finished sixth in the Wyoming State Amateur tournament.
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