March 28, 2023

Michael Thorbjornsen is a rising star.

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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.

michael thorbjornsen poses

‘It was unreal’: Michael Thorbjornsen shares his experience competing in Drive, Chip & Putt at Augusta National


Zephyr Melton

“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.

jessica marksbury Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on

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