Michael Thorbjornsen’s picks for his own version of The Match
If you don’t yet know the name Michael Thorbjornsen, let us know that you heard it here first.
The 21-year-old is currently competing collegiately for Stanford University, and his star is clearly on the rise.
Thorbjornsen won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur, which gave him an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Open, where he made the cut. And this year, Thorbjornsen accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the 2022 Travelers Championship where he finished 4th — the best finish by an amateur on the PGA Tour since 2016.
Thorbjornsen is currently in the midst of his junior year at Stanford, and on this week’s episode of Subpar, he discussed a range of topics with hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz, including the players he would choose to compete with and against in his own version of The Match, which is returning with Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
“I’ll take Rose [Zhang] on my team, and then we’ll put Rory on the other team, and Nelly Korda as his partner,” Thorbjornsen said.
Zhang is a particularly inspired pick. She’s Thorbjornsen’s teammate at Stanford, currently in her sophomore year, and the reigning World No. 1 on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. Zhang won the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 2022 NCAA Division I Individual title. In short: she, too, is a superstar on the rise.
“The women’s golf team is probably the best team here at Stanford,” Thorbjornsen said. “Rose being No. 1 in the world for three years in a row is quite an accomplishment. She’s younger than me, and that kinda makes me feel old. I learn so much from her. I think it’s really cool. I’m really excited to see how she does.”
During Subpar’s “Emergency 9” segment, Knost asked Thorbjornsen who would win between Thorbjornsen and Zhang in a best-of-seven set of matches. Thorbjornsen didn’t hesitate.
“Me,” he said. “In four or five. We normally play with each other, actually, against other people.”
“Oh, that’s fair,” Konst and Stoltz quipped in unison.
For more from Thorbjornsen, including what he would have done with the $400,000 he couldn’t accept at the Travelers Championship, check out the full interview below.