Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas Set to Field `Secret Weapon' in Quarterfinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas Set to Field `Secret Weapon' in Quarterfinals

Article excerpt

Get ready Lela Thomas. Eat a good breakfast. Drink lots of fluids. And don't forget to put the dog out. You could be in for a long day.

Thomas will bring all the energy she can harness and all the luck she can muster to the quarterfinals of the Missouri Amateur Championship today at picturesque Country Club of St. Albans.

Her husband is counting on it.

"She's my secret weapon," Scott Thomas, 37, said. "She doesn't come out until Saturday."

The way he's playing, Thomas may have all the weapons he needs. The former state champion advanced to the match-play round of eight by disposing of Ryan Wilson in the morning and Mark Monroe in the afternoon on Friday. He will meet Jim McIntosh of Independence in today's quarterfinals. The first quarterfinal tee off will be at 7 a.m.

Thomas won the last state amateur tournament held in St. Louis, at Country Club at the Legends in 1992. When he did, his wife took over the caddying duties on the last two days of the tournament. Thomas also won the St. Louis Men's District championship in 1993 at St. Louis Country Club - again, his wife was on hand for the home stretch.

"She'll be here tomorrow," Thomas said. "She's my good-luck charm. I already talked to her on the phone and told her to get ready."

Thomas' game appears ready for whatever might come. He was one of four former champions - along with Jim Holtgrieve, Don Bliss and Marty Sallaz - to advance to the Final 16. But he was the only one to survive. Thomas made relatively short work of Monroe, defeating him 4 and 3.

"To win another one would mean an awful lot," Thomas said. "I was so wiped out at the last one . . . When I made a birdie putt to win it, I was just drained. I think I would appreciate a second one even more."

Thomas already has won two big tournaments this season, capturing titles at the Normandie Amateur and the PING Championship. He also has learned to overcome a back ailment, which plagued him earlier this spring.

At this point in the state amateur, aches, pains and fatigue are part of the program. …

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