Thorbjornsen, Stanford Sweep Both Titles in Fighting Illini Invitational

Michael Thorbjornsen and the Stanford Men’s Golf Team simply emulated the Cardinal Women’s Team, which recently swept both titles in its season opener.

Thorbjornsen, a junior from Wellesley, Mass., claimed his first college title by one stroke and led the Cardinal to a 12-shot victory over third-ranked Florida and host Illinois in the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Coach Conrad Ray’s 15th-ranked Cardinal posted a score of 270-281-280—831, 9-under-par, to win its first season opener since the 2014 Southwestern Invitational, while Florida finished at 277-287-279—843 and 11th-ranked Illinois wound up at 271-288-284—843.

“Getting a big win early in the season is a huge momentum boost for everyone,” said Ray, who coached Stanford to its ninth NCAA Championship in 2019. “We realize there is a ton of golf to play this fall and beyond but it always good to compete strongly in one of the top fields in college golf on a U.S. Open venue.

“Top teams make winning a habit and that is what we are hoping to try to establish early on this season.”

Fifth-ranked Arizona State was fourth at 285-273-286—844, followed by Alabama at 290-281-279—850, Florida State at 289-286-277—852, and seventh-ranked Oklahoma State at 283-284-287—854.

Baylor posted a score of 291-284-283—858 to tie for eighth with Arizona, which totaled 289-284-285—858, while ninth-ranked Texas was 10th at 292-287-283—862.

Tenth-ranked Pepperdine was 13th at 289-289-296—874.

Thorbjornsen, who won the Western Amateur and Massachusetts Amateur in 2021, carded a winning score of 67-70-66—203, 7-under-par, while Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda and Florida shot 68-68-68—204 to tie for second with Adrien Dumont de Chassart of Illinois, who finished at 65-67-72—204.

Stanford players who also won the Fighting Illini Invitational include Patrick Rodgers (2011, 2012), Cameron Wilson (2013) and Maverick McNealy (2014, 2015).

Ryggs Johnston of Arizona State was fourth at 70-64-71—205, followed by Tommy Kuhl of Illinois at 67-68-71—206, while Karl Vilips of Stanford totaled 65-71-71—207 to tie for sixth with Cole Anderson of Florida State, who wound up at 72-71-64—207.

Canon Claycomb of Alabama was eighth at 69-72-68—209, while Ethan Ng of Stanford finished at 70-69-71—210 to tie for ninth with Rasmus Neergarrd Petersen of Oklahoma State, who shot 69-69-72—210, and Thomas Ponder of Alabama, who came in at 68-69-73—210.

Rounding out the scoring for team champion Stanford were Barclay Brown in a tie for 12th at 68-71-72—211, and Dean Greyserman in solo 75th at 77-80-76—233.

Sam Choi led Pepperdine in a tie for 26th at 72-68-75—215.

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