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The match play bracket is set at the 119th Western Amateur, and it’s medalist Michael Thorbjornsen who tops it.
The Stanford sophomore fired rounds of 70-67 in Thursday’s 36-hole day at Glen View Club in Glenview, Illinois, to finish the 72-hole stroke-play portion at 13 under, a shot better than defending champion Pierceson Coody of Texas and incoming North Carolina freshman stud David Ford.
Thorbjornsen, who earlier this month carded 18 birdies in 30 holes while beating Matt Parziale, 8 and 6, in the Massachusetts State Amateur final, now advances to face Ohio State sophomore and former AJGA Player of the Year Maxwell Moldovan in Friday morning’s Round of 16. Moldovan and Baylor’s Johnny Keefer punched their match-play tickets in a four-for-two playoff that also included Pepperdine senior Joey Vrzich and Argentina’s Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira.
The quarterfinals will also be contested Friday followed by the semifinals and championship match on Saturday.
Other notables surviving another day at one of amateur golf’s toughest tests: Florida junior Ricky Castillo, who advances to match play for the third straight Western Amateur after he was a semifinalist each of the past two seasons; Thorbjornsen’s Stanford teammate Karl Vilips; junior standouts Luke Potter and Gordon Sargent; and Oklahoma State teammates Leo Oyo and Brian Stark.
How good is @WGAChamps Am's R16 this year? Here is each player's WAGR rank:
Coody – 2
Castillo – 5
Highsmith – 27
Phillips – 29
Potter – 49
Vilips – 50
Moldovan – 54
Sargent – 64
Ford – 65
Thorbjornsen – 71
Keefer – 85
Piot – 103
Greaser – 119
Oyo – 133
Stark – 142
Travale – 178
— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) July 30, 2021
Live coverage will be streamed on GolfChannel.com Friday at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET (Round of 16) and 4-7 p.m. ET (quarterfinals). Saturday’s coverage windows are 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (semifinals) and 2-6 p.m. ET (final).
Here are the Round of 16 matchups and tee times (all times ET):
- Michael Thorbjornsen (1) vs. Maxwell Moldovan (16), 9 a.m.
- Ricky Castillo (8) vs. Joe Highsmith (9), 9:12 a.m.
- Trent Phillips (4) vs. Austin Greaser (13), 9:24 a.m.
- Johnny Travale (5) vs. Brian Stark (12), 9:36 a.m.
- David Ford (3) vs. Johnny Keefer (15), 9:48 a.m.
- Gordon Sargent (7) vs. Leo Oyo (10), 10 a.m.
- Pierceson Coody (3) vs. Karl Vilips (14), 10:12 a.m.
- Luke Potter (6) vs. James Piot (11), 10:24 a.m.