You’ll excuse Conrad Ray if he wasn’t devoting all his attention last Sunday to the hoopla surrounding a collegian’s victory on the PGA Tour, the first time that’s happened in 32 years.
“Nick Dunlap (a sophomore at Alabama who won the American Express Championship) is a great player and a fine young man,” said Ray, the men’s golf coach at Stanford. He then offered a soft laugh and added: “But he sort of overshadowed what Michael did and that’s what I’m excited about.”
Ray was speaking of Michael Thorbjornsen, the young man from Wellesley, Mass., who is a senior at Stanford and has a bright future ahead of him. The joy in Ray’s voice was based on all the positives Thorbjornsen showed in his first tournament in six months, his layoff due to a stress fracture in his back.
Like Dunlap, Thorbjornsen was playing in a pro event (the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour). Unlike Dunlap, Thorbjornsen did not win, but rounds of 72-70-70-68 for a share of 11th place was seen as a resounding success.