After matching his season-best effort on Saturday with a five-under-par 67, Michigan men’s golf senior Matt Thompson fired a one-under 71 on Sunday’s final round, finishing in second place at the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.

Thompson, who finished at 10-under-par for the tournament, held the lead by one shot over Coastal Carolina’s Sebastian Soderberg entering day three. After posting a 71 in the morning, all Thompson could do was watch the leaderboard and wait.

Soderberg played his first nine holes two-under-par, grabbing a one-stroke lead as he made the turn. After bogeying the par-3 14th hole, he found himself again tied with Thompson.

Much to Thompson’s chagrin, the Chanticleers’ No. 1 player swiftly birdied holes 15 and 16 and rode that wave of momentum all the way to the clubhouse. Soderberg parred the final two holes en route to a four-under par 68. His three-day total of 12-under par bested Thompson by two strokes.

On Friday’s first round, Thompson shot a near spotless four-under-par-68 — he bogeyed just one hole while draining five birdie putts. Two of those birdies came during the first five holes. Saturday’s round was marked with six birdies, an eagle and two bogeys. Again, Thompson played the first five holes well, finishing that stretch at two-under-par.

“(The first five holes) were ones where you’d like to get a couple birdies,” Thompson said.

But luck was not on Thompson’s side during Sunday morning’s final round. The weather, which had cooperated all weekend, had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. Rain fell as Thompson stood on the first tee, making course conditions much tougher. Instead of sinking birdie putts, the senior struggled to save pars, and instead of playing the first five holes in red figures as he had the first two days, he was one-over.

“It wasn’t as easy (on Sunday) as it had been all weekend,” Thompson said.

The rain ceased after the fifth hole, and Thompson once again took advantage of the easier course conditions. He finished his one-under-par round with four birdies and two more bogeys.

Soderberg, on the other hand, teed off in the early afternoon amid the dry conditions. He promptly birdied the first three holes en route to his final-round comeback.

Thompson, who had been struggling somewhat the last few events after a successful fall season, felt very pleased with his performance despite finishing in second place.

“It feels great, especially after having a not-so-good start to the spring (season),” Thompson said. “It’s a huge relief to get back on track, and I’m going to try to keep it going for the rest of the year.”

Thompson’s putting was especially on point, which made up for his mediocre long-range game.

“(This tournament) was probably the best putting (performance) that I can remember having in a long time,” Thompson said. “I didn’t hit it exceptionally great, but when that many putts go in, it definitely helps your score.”

Michigan coach Chris Whitten wasn’t disappointed with Thompson’s second-place finish either.

“He was really good around the greens when he missed some iron shots or some tee shots,” Whitten said. “He was really efficient with his game.

“I think he’ll be happy with the way that he played.”

The runner-up finish is Thompson’s second of the year, his first being at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate in late October. Two weeks prior to that tournament, he won the Windon Memorial Classic after shooting a final round at five-under 65. His two five-under efforts — at Windon and this past weekend in Greenville — are the team’s best scores in relation to par this year.

As a team, Michigan finished in 16th place out of 21, two weeks after finishing ninth at the North Ranch Collegiate. The Wolverines’ second-best tournament score came from junior Miguel Echavarria (76-74-75), who finished at nine-over-par and tied for 67th overall.

Freshman Noori Hyun (74-79-74), who had been playing his best golf of the season in the two events prior to the Furman Intercollegiate, finished at 11-over-par for the tournament and tied for 76th overall. Junior Matt Alessi scored the team’s second-best single round of the tournament with an even-par 72 on Saturday. Alessi (80-72-79) finished with a 15-over-par total for the week and tied for 104th place.

“Every guy is going to wish that he could get a couple shots back,” Whitten said. “We’re as strong as the last guy off the bench. We definitely had a couple good individual rounds and a lot of good individual things on the course (this weekend), but we’re still trying to put together a total team performance.”

Sophomore Matt Felsenfeld rounded out Michigan’s scoring for the weekend with a total of 47-over-par.

The Wolverines travel to Baton Rouge, La. in two weeks to play in the LSU Intercollegiate on March 31-April 1.

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