At the US Open, two friends are watching Frances Ouimet’s channel

Brooklyn, Mass – A golf ball was buried in a bunker, Drew Cohen thought to himself: “He is in prison. He will have to shoot the bunker of his life. “

Cohen, a longtime friend and full-time staff member of amateur golfer Michael Thorbjornsen, then watched him grip power from the hole with one foot. Thorbjornsen equalized and then went through the next hole and both went on to compete in the 2022 U.S. Open, escaping an eight-man qualifier for three places on June 6 in Purchise, New York.

The couple soon landed at a country club near Boston, hitting not only a golf course but also a mall. There they bought matching T-shirts with the image of Frances Ouymet, the 1913 U.S. Open champion, and his staff, Eddie Lowry.

“We saw them and said, ‘Hey? “Why not us?” Cohen said Tuesday after he and Thorbjornsen went through the country’s previous nine with Colin Morikawa and Nick Dunlap, the winner of the 2021 U.S. Youth Amateur Championship. “Let’s create our own story.”

This story means that Thorbjornsen, a Stanford University star, is doing what Uwimet did: Win the U.S. Open at the Country Club as a 20-year-old amateur. Both entered their tournaments as the Massachusetts Amateur Champion.

“I think,” Cohen said, “he has a chance to run this week.”

Cohen and Thorbjornsen were best friends after their first meeting in high school. When Thorbjornsen left Wales, Massachusetts, on the outskirts of Boston, after graduating from high school at IMG Academy in Florida to work out in golf, Cohen followed suit. But before Thorbjornsen remained for three years, Cohen was left with only one.

“Drew was a good golfer,” said his mother, Lisa Goldberg. “He just was not good to Michael.”

Cohen also missed hockey. And when Thorbjornsen returned to Wales to finish high school, Cohen, the captain of the University Boys’ Hockey, made sure his friend was named team manager.

But their connection was further strengthened through golf. Cohen started shooting for Thorbjornsen last summer and good things happened. Thorbjornsen won the Western Amateur in July 2021. He passed in the 32nd round to the US Amateurs.

This summer, Cohen, a growing junior at the University of Wisconsin, had a choice: he could do an internship at an investment bank or take a walking course with Thorbjornsen. With the blessing of his mother, he chose the latter.

“I told him he had plenty of time to sit behind the desk,” Goldberg said. “Go for it.”

That was good for Thorbjornsen.

“He knows me like everyone else,” Thorbjornsen said. “As a person and a golfer. “He knows when to leave me alone and he knows when to say something.”

On Thursday morning, both will be in the first cup, where Thorbjornsen will have to strike one of the first blows of the 2022 US Open due to local connections. Another Massachusetts resident, Fran Quinn, the 57-year-old tournament’s oldest player, will also start on the 10th.

Thorbjornsen played in the U.S. Open in 2019 at Pebble Beach, California, where he was injured. Cohen was not in the bag that week.

“He needed a professional,” Cohen said. “We were both 17 years old. Can you imagine?”

This tournament was Thorbjornsen’s exit party in terms of national attention. He started playing golf at the age of 2, participated in national tournaments at the age of 6 and won them by 10 points. A spectacular youth career preceded the Stanford Scholarship.

“Michael has always had excellent hand-eye coordination,” said his father, Thorbjorn, who is also dedicated to Ted. In those years, Senior Thorbjornsen took his son daily to the newest golf training facility in Rockland, Massa, about 30 miles from Wales. They often returned home before midnight.

“He will have to do his homework in the car,” said Ted Thorbjornsen. “Teachers will all go crazy. But all this time I think this kid is smart and this time you will never get it back.

Until this week, the father and son had not seen each other for three years, partly due to a pandemic. Michael Thorbiornsen’s parents are divorced and Teddy lives in Abu Dhabi. Still, the two men frequently interacted during that time, with Michael sending his father golf videos and Teddy criticizing them.

“Of course we have a normal father-son dispute,” Ted said, “but never when it comes to golf. It’s the kind of code language we have. He never argues. He is trustworthy. “

He also trusts his Kadia.

“Drew is the calm of Michael’s storm,” said Goldberg, who housed the two at his Wells home last week before heading to a hotel for the tournament.

Cohen and Thorbjornsen will be in Connecticut for the Travelers’ Championship next week. The tournament received an invitation after Torbjornsen qualified for the U.S. Open. They will then travel to Scotland for the qualifying round of the British Open and to Switzerland for the Arnold Palmer Cup and possibly some break in Greece. Then comes two big amateur tournaments in August – Western and US Amateur.

Thorbjornsen said he planned to return to Stanford at a junior year. The Cardinal had a disappointing season last year, but, Thorbjornsen warned, “Beware of us next year!”

This does not mean that he does not focus on what is in front of him.

On Tuesday, he asked Morikava questions about living on the PGA tour. Morikawa, who has been a professional himself since 2019, said the amateur experience at an event like this could be “excessive”.

Morikava continued: “It was cool to go back to how I was preparing in college, how I was preparing as a junior. I think the most important thing is to learn your routine and get to these places and figure out the ropes. You have to learn how to stay in your own lane. ”

Thorbjornsen is aware of the financial charm of the LIV Golf series backed by the new Saudi Arabia, but said his professional plans have stalled. However, he offered a PGA tour to attract his like-minded best colleagues.

“Maybe they could do something like offer PGA cards to the top five players in college,” Thorbjornsen said. “It will be an incentive.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.