Stanford finishes off dominant victory at Fighting Illini Invite
Head coach Conrad Ray couldn't have scripted a better start to the season for his Stanford Cardinal.
The Cardinal put the finishing touches on a dominant 12-stroke victory at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational on Sunday while junior Michael Thorbjornsen
claimed his first collegiate victory, firing a final round 68 to post a one-stroke victory over Florida's Ricky Castillo
and 36-hole leader Adrien Dumont de Chassart
Stanford's win came against a loaded field which that included seven of the nation's Top 11 teams: No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Texas, No. 10 Pepperdine and the host No. 11 Illinois.
Getting a big win early in the season is a huge momentum boost for everyone," said Ray. "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 and establish early on this season."
Thorbjornsen, who won the 2021 Western Amateur
at nearby Glen View Country Club, began the final round five back of Dumont de Chassart at 3-under, lit up the back nine with birdies on No. 11, 13, 15 and 18 to pull off the come-from-behind to collect his first collegiate win.
He becomes the fourth Stanford player to claim medalist honors at the Fighting Illini Invitational, joining Patrick Rodgers (2011, 2012), Cameron Wilson (2013) and Maverick McNealy (2014, 2015).
Junior Karl Vilips
(t-6th; -3) and fifth-year senior Ethan Ng (t-9th; E) joined Thorbjornsen in the top-10 while Barclay Brown
(+1) tied for 12th.
Florida and Illinois tied for second at 3-over 843 while Arizona State (+4) and Alabama (+10) rounded out the top-five.
ABOUT THE Fighting Illini Invitational
54-hole elite collegiate event hosted at Olympia
Country Club by the University of Illinois. Olympia
Fields has hosted the 2015 U.S. Amateur. two U.S.
Opens, two PGA Championships, five Western Opens
and a U.S. Senior Open.
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