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Michael Thorbjornsen rallies to win US Junior Amateur

July 22, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Michael Thorbjornsen rallied to win the U.S. Junior Amateur on Saturday, beating fellow 16-year-old Akshay Bhatia 1 up in the 36-hole on Baltusrol Golf Club’s Upper Course.

Thorbjornsen, from Wellesley, Massachusetts, birdied the par-4 30th hole — after his drive hit a tree and landed in the fairway — to square the match. He took the lead for the first time on the par-4 32nd, driving the 302-yard hole and two-putting for birdie. On the par-4 closing hole, he hit a 42-foot birdie putt to 2 feet to set up the winning par.

Bhatia, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, missed a tying 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 35th hole. On the 36th, he missed a 45-foot birdie try from the front fringe, giving Thorbjornsen the chance to end it with a par.

Thorbjornsen earned a spot in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and 2019 U.S. Amateur. With their semifinal victories, Bhatia and Thorbjornsen got spots in the U.S. Amateur next month at Pebble Beach.

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