Less than two weeks after winning the NCAA individual title, Braden Thornberry made the most of his PGA Tour debut.
The Ole Miss product charged up the standings during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, shooting a 5-under 65 to tie for fourth, two shots behind Daniel Berger. It matched Justin Rose's finish at The Open in 1998 and was bettered only by Lee McCoy's solo fourth-place showing at last year's Valspar Championship among amateur results in non-opposite field events on Tour in the last 20 years.
Thornberry, 20, started the day six shots off the lead, but he followed a birdie on No. 2 with an eagle on the par-5 third. He didn't drop a shot during the final round, and at 8 under he finished the week alongside recent winners Kevin Chappell and Billy Horschel and one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson.
Thornberry played this week on a sponsor invite that he received after his four-shot win last month at Rich Harvest Farms.The Olive Branch, Miss., native tied a school record with seven wins during his sophomore season at Ole Miss.
Had he played as a professional, Thornberry's five-way tie for fourth would have netted him $241,280. Because he is an amateur, his top-10 finish will not earn him a spot in the Travelers Championship later this month, nor will he receive any FedEx Cup non-member points.