John and Mary Thomas of Havre de Grace consider themselves weekend golfers. Actually “we’re hackers,” John said joking, or maybe he was serious. Who’s not a hacker when comparing skills to the girls of the LPGA that compete at Bulle Rock?
The Thomas’ are lifers in Harford County – prior to their move to Havre de Grace they lived in Bel Air. John is the owner of Mane Connection in Bel Air. Hackers or not, they’ve found another reason to embrace the LPGA and her name is Lindsey Wright.
Wright is an Australian golfer in the LPGA and she has stayed with the Thomas’ since the LPGA rolled into town in 2005.
“John and Mary are great, I’ve stayed with them four years now, they are just awesome they are like part of my family. We’ve become really good friends which is great and makes the tournament even better,” Wright said after Friday’s play, with her heavy Australian accent.
The Thomas’ became involved after receiving a letter from the LPGA. Mary responded with interest and two weeks prior to the competition Wright called to introduce herself and let them know they were matched up together. Would it be OK if she stayed? The LPGA matches golfers with families through a survey that includes inquiries about pets and non-smoking, things of that nature. And according to John the LPGA does a good job with compatibility.
“So she came and stayed with us and we were both very comfortable,” John said and Mary added, “It’s like having a daughter back in the house again.”
The Thomas’ have two children, both living in Harford County – Misty Williams who also lives in Havre de Grace and Keith Thomas, a state trooper who resides in Bel Air. It’s a family affair with Wright in town as Misty comes to visit with Lindsey also.
Misty has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the Thomas’ held a fundraiser walk for MS. Lindsey provided some autographed shirts and autographed hats to help with promotions.
When asked to dish about any idiosyncrasies of Wright, John said that she is “very” down to earth. She doesn’t ask for anything and they try to give her the space she needs. After all, she is here to compete.
“She doesn’t ever put us on the spot,” he added.
One cultural difference that took some getting used to was the fact that, as an Australian, Wright kept referring to the restroom as a loo (rhymes with zoo). That caught the Thomas’ off guard and it was something they adjusted to and all continue to laugh at.
Of course, when their schedule permits the Thomas’ follow only Lindsey at Bulle Rock. They get free tickets from her. “She’s done well in Bulle Rock. She loves the course. She told us she plays better here and she feels like she is coming home.” How does that make the Thomas’ feel? “It makes us feel tremendous.”
Of course, Wright confirmed and had nothing but great things to say about Bulle Rock. “The course is fantastic, the conditions are excellent I enjoy coming back every year it’s pretty much the same every year.”
Wright, who tied for 18th this year, had this to say about Havre de Grace: “I love coming to Havre De Grace. It’s a beautiful place. I think it’s my favorite stop in terms of the people I stay with. And the area, I feel like I know the area pretty well. It’s a nice little town.”
The Thomas’ and Wright communicate regularly throughout the year. And according to John they’ve developed a special bond. So it comes to no surprise that when Wright shows up the Thomas’ like to spoil her. Her favorite is lobster.
So this year they had their traditional special dinner, surf and turf. “We had surf and turf, it was great. They’re just great.” Wright said.
“We actually cooked it at home on Monday night, filets and lobster,” John said. Nothing fancy right? “She’s focusing and she’s maturing into a wonderful golfer. She’s already a terrific person.”
No matter what happens in the future of the LPGA and Bulle Rock, the Thomas’ and Lindsey Wright have turned into lifelong friends.