Courtesy of Stanford Athletics
It's been a long time in between wins for the Stanford Cardinal, at least by their standards, but Conrad Ray's squad found its way back to the winner's circle on Tuesday at the Colonial Collegiate Invitational held at the famed Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The 12th-ranked Cardinal shot an 11-under 269 in Tuesday's final round to edge out top-ranked Oklahoma by one stroke to earn its first win since capturing the 2019 NCAA Championship.
Stanford, which began the day in fifth-place, seven-shots behind 36-hole leader Pepperdine, got the lights-out, final round it needed on Tuesday to claim the team title over a field which featured eight of the top-26 teams in Golfweek's rankings, including No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Texas, No. 18 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Georgia, No. 25 Pepperdine and No. 26 Florida, in addition to the top-ranked Sooners.
Stanford's final day charge was paced by sophomore Michael Thorbjornsen, the Western Amateur champion, who shot a 4-under 66 to finish second at 5-under par 205, six shots behind Wake Forest's Michael Brennan, who ran away from the field to finish at 11-under 199 (65-69-65) to win the individual title.
For Thorbjornsen, it was his best collegiate finish and second straight top-10 to open the season. His birdie on 18, his sixth of the day, proved to be decisive, as none of the Sooners' golfers could make better than par on the 54th and final hole.
Sixth-year senior Henry Shimp shot a 3-under 67 to finish tied for third at 3-under for the tournament. Sophomore Karl Vilips and freshman Alex Yang each shot 2-under 68s, while senior Ethan Ng fired an even-par 70.
The win for the Cardinal is the program's first since winning the National Championship in 2019, a season that ended with five consecutive victories over the field. In addition to No. 1 Oklahoma, Stanford also defeated No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Texas, No. 18 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Georgia, No. 25 Pepperdine, and No. 26 Florida amongst the 15 team field.
One week after sharing medalist honors at the Old Town Club Collegiate with teammate Alex Fitzpatrick, Brennan blitzed the field at Colonial with three rounds in the 60s for a six shot victory over Thorbjornsen.
The sophomore from Leesburg, Va. began the day with a four-stroke advantage after carding rounds of 65 and 69 on Monday. He extended his lead by closing with his second 5-under round of 65 to earn the fourth individual title of his career, tying him with notable Wake Forest alums Will Zalatoris and Bill Andrade, among others.
ABOUT THE Colonial Collegiate Invitational
54-hole men's collegiate championship for teams in the
Big 12 Conference. Team (best four scores out of six
players each round) and individual competitions.
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