Thorbjornsen Prevails In U.S. Open Final Qualifying Again - MASSGOLF

Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen Qualifies For Second Straight U.S. Open, Third Overall

SUMMIT, NEW JERSEY – One day, it might just be the expectation that Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen will be playing in the U.S. Open, among the other major championships.

When asked what he’ll be playing in this summer, he included the U.S. Open in his answers, trying to speak that goal into existence. The truth is he had to play is way into this year’s championship at Los Angeles Country Club, but on Monday proved once again why he belongs in the field.

Thorbjornsen knocked down 13 birdies for a total score of 8-under-par 134 to take medalist honors at U.S. Open Final Qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club. With 67 players fighting for four spots, Thorbjornsen bested a field that included touring pros and other standout amateurs and professionals. At age 21, the rising senior at Stanford will now head back west to play in his third U.S. Open (2019, 2022, 2023).

“Playing in a major, there’s nothing better than that,” said Thorbjornsen, a 2023 Ben Hogan Award finalist. “Going from Boston to LA, it feels really good. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better this past year. I’ve matured as well. I just want to see how all these guys go out there and play their best.”

More than a dozen Massachusetts players attempted to qualify across four different locations on Monday, including North Carolina, California and Toronto. As of 8 p.m. Monday, Thorbjornsen was the only Massachusetts player to have advanced to the U.S. Open.

Scoring Links: Canoe Brook (New Jersey) | Old Chatham Club (North Carolina) | Lambton (Toronto) | Hillcrest CC (California) | Final Qualifying Homepage

Thorbjornsen was strong from the jump Monday, going 3-under through his first 10 holes on Canoe Brook’s South Course, twice following up bogeys with birdies. He finished the morning 4-under, tied with Northwestern standout James Imai, of Brookline.

After fitting in a quick lunch plus curtailed range and putting sessions, Thorbjornsen headed to the North Course for his second of two 18-hole rounds, gathering one of the largest followings of the day. Despite an early bogey, he made answered with three birdies on the front nine, putting him in the overall lead. Even with other golfers sitting a stroke back, Thorbjornsen held them off with three more birdies on the back nine, finishing the round at 4-under 68.

“I love playing up here in the North,” Thorbjornsen said. “Every hole fits my eye. Putting on greens like this, I love bent grass [and] love when it’s firm.”

Michael Thorbjornsen, right, gets some advice from his caddie Drew Cohen during U.S. Open Final Qualifying. Cohen and Thorbjornsen, both childhood friends, were a team at last year’s U.S. Open, including in qualifying. (Mass Golf)

Though he made the U.S. Open cut in 2019 and finished 79th at Pebble Beach, Thorbjornsen got his first real taste of tour success when he finished fourth at last year’s Travelers Championship, one week after missing the U.S. Open cut by three strokes.

Now he’ll have three straight PGA Tour events to once again see how he stacks up against the world’s best. He’ll play in this week’s RBC Canadian Open on a Sponsor’s Exemption, followed by the U.S. Open and The Travelers the week after that.

“I feel like my game is at a point where I’m good enough to be on the PGA Tour,” said Thorbjornsen when asked about if he feels like he belongs on the level of tour players. “I’m not sure I’m a top 10 player in the world; I definitely have to prove that. After this qualifier, I feel like I earned and deserve a spot in the U.S. Open.”

Though Imai put up a good effort in the morning that included an eagle on the par-5 6th on the South Course, he wasn’t able to rally on the North Course, finding just two birdies in a 4-over 76 closing round.

Another Massachusetts golfer who has been in the hunt all day is two-time Mass amateur champion James Driscoll. Playing in Final Qualifying at Hillcrest Country Club, less than 2 miles from the Championship Proper, the former touring pro sank three consecutive birdies to start his round and finished the morning at 4-under 67, good for T7. Five spots are up for grabs at Hillside.


Today, we find out how many Bay State golfers will be represented at the 123rd U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club. Nine 36-hole U.S. Open Final Qualifying tournaments will take place coast-to-coast as part of what’s called “Golf’s Longest Day”.

Mass Golf’s Stephen Hanjack is providing coverage on the ground at Canoe Brook CC in Summit, New Jersey where eleven golfers from Massachusetts will compete for one of four coveted invitations to LACC. Golfers from Massachusetts will also be featured in the fields at Old Chatham Club (North Carolina), Lambton (Toronto), and Hillcrest CC (California).

Check back to this page (and refresh) for continuous updates on all the golfers from Massachusetts competing across the country. We’ll also have updates on all our social media accounts: @PlayMassGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

— 11:15 p.m. —

Driscoll had a great start but was unable to gain any ground in his second round. He shoots 1-over 72 in the second round to finish 3-under total. William Frodigh (Dedham Country & Polo Club) played two great rounds of golf in North Carolina (71-69–140) to go 4-under in a very stacked field. The final cut was 11-under.

— 8:15 p.m. —

James Driscoll still has a puncher’s chance. With two birdies through his first eight holes of his second round, Driscoll is just one stroke under the projected cut of 7-under. Leaders are at 9-under.

— 5:40 p.m. —

We’ll be keeping an eye on James Driscoll who finished 4-under in his opening round in California, which puts him at T7. Five spots are on the line at Hillcrest.

— 5:15 p.m. —

At age 21, Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen is going to his third U.S. Open! The Stanford junior finishes the day at 8-under to secure medalist honors and earn a ticket to Los Angeles Country Club. He sank 13 birdies combined in rounds of 66 (South Course) and 68 (North Course). He’ll be the only Massachusetts qualifier from Canoe Brook. Imai finished T15 with rounds of 4-under and 4-over to finish even-par. Nick Maccario and Chris Tallman finished 2-over.

— 3:16 p.m. —

Thorbjornsen is currently at 6-under and at the top of the leaderboard. He is now three clear of the cut line. If he maintains, he’ll likely be through without the worry of a playoff. James Imai sits at 2-under, currently 2 below the currently projected cutline.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)


— 2:35 p.m. —

Thorbjornsen is in the lead! With 10 holes to go, the Stanford standout sits at 6-under total, with three players behind him at 5-under. Four players will advance to the U.S. Open from Canoe Brook.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)


— 2:16 p.m. —

North of the border in Toronto, South Hadley native Richy Werenski shot 3-under 67 in his opening round and opened his second round with a birdie putting him at 4-under total, good for T6 at the moment. Only 3 spots are up for grabs.


— 2:02 p.m. —

James Driscoll is rocking out in California. He knocked down three consecutive birdies to start his day at Hillcrest Country Club and currently sits at 3-under through 6. Players in California are battling for one of five spots.


— 1:47 p.m. —

University of Michigan’s Jack O’Donnell (Boston Golf Club) will also be in the mix this afternoon at Canoe Brook. He made birdie on the 18th to get to even-par 70.


— 12:23 p.m. —

Michael Thorbjornsen & Brookline’s James Imai (George Wright Golf Course) come out firing in the opening round, each shooting 4-under 66 on Canoe Brook’s South Course. Thorbjornsen will head to the North Course for a 1 p.m. tee time; Imai at 1:40.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)

— 11:05 a.m. —

Catching up with Haverhill’s Nick Maccario (Bradford CC), who finished 1-over 73 on the South Course in Round 1.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)

— 10:13 a.m. —

Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen, who qualified for last year’s U.S. Open, is on pace to do so again this year.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)

— 9:57 a.m. —

The People’s Golfer, Jim Renner, is trying to qualify for the U.S. Open for the first time since 2014. This early par save keeps him on track.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mass Golf (@playmassgolf)


a-Matt Parziale

a-Michael Thorbjornsen

a-Ben Spitz

a-Nick Maccario

Chris Tallman

a-Jake Bauer

Jim Renner

a-James Imai

Shawn Scott

a-Riley Rohlfs

a-Kevin Gately

a-Jack O’Donnell


Richy Werenski

Jimmy Hervol


James Driscoll


Will Frodigh

*a- denotes amateur