Michael Thorbjornsen’s hot summer continues.
After his record-setting performance to win his home state amateur two weeks ago, the Stanford sophomore from Wellesley, Massachusetts, captured the 119th Western Amateur title Saturday at Glen View Club in Glenview, Illinois.
Thorbjornsen defeated incoming Vanderbilt freshman Gordon Sargent, 4 and 3, in the 18-hole final to cap another impressive week. Not only did Thorbjornsen fired a course-record 62 en route to the stroke-play medal, and then he took down a list of heavy-hitters in match play: Ohio State’s Maxwell Moldovan, the recent runaway Southern Amateur winner; Florida standout and Walker Cupper Ricky Castillo; North Carolina’s Austin Greaser, a popular breakout candidate entering the new college season; and then Sargent, who was riding high after a win over defending champion Pierceson Coody on Saturday morning.
The 71st-ranked amateur in the world, Thorbjornsen won four of the first six holes against Sargent and later used a three-hole run, winning Nos. 11-13, to seal the deal.
“He was locked in early,” said Drew Cohen, Thorbjornsen's best friend and caddie. “I could tell something special was going to happen. Even though we had that big lead, we didn’t want to overlook [Sargent] or get overconfident. But I will say Michael is very intimidating to play against.”
For the first time since Norman Xiong in 2017, the medalist also successfully navigated the match-play bracket.
Entering the Western, considered one of the most grueling amateur tournaments in the world with eight rounds in five days, Thorbjornsen notched top-11 finishes at the Sunnehanna and Northeast amateurs before topping mid-amateur Matt Parziale, 8 and 6, in the 36-hole Mass State Amateur final, where he tallied a whopping 18 birdies in 30 holes.
Now, he joins a prestigious list of Western Amateur champions, one that includes Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Francis Oiumet.
“I was not aware of the select company I’m in now,” said Thorbjornsen, who also earned an exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour's 2022 Evans Scholars Invitational.
Next up, assuming Saturday's big win bumps him into the WAGR top 50 (which it should): Thorbjornsen’s momentum has him rolling into Oakmont for the U.S. Amateur in two weeks.