Canberra 17-year-old Adam Thorp has pulled off a remarkable victory in the IMG Junior World Championships at the Torrey Pines Golf Resort near San Diego, California.
Thorp, who will turn 18 on July 22nd, has finished with a final round 73 for a four-round total of four under par 284 to win the coveted prize by a shot from fast-finishing American, Chase Sienkiewicz.
The final round was a drama-charged affair. Thorp, who had said overnight his plan was to be patient on the first six hole then attack, was cruising when he reached the turn at six under the card.
The pressure of the lead soon began to tell on the 17-year-old and a string of bogeys on the back nine saw his lead diminish to just one shot with only three holes left to play.
Another bogey on the 17th saw Thorp fall back into a share of the lead and suddenly, the heat was on.
The Federal Golf Club junior saved his best for last though, and finished in style with a stunning birdie from about 4 metres on the par 5 18th to grab the Championship by a shot. It was his second clutch birdie on the final hole in as many days.
“It feels so good,” an ecstatic Thorp said after the presentation. “I struggled with my swing all round, but I ground it out.”
“To be able to make that up-and-down on the last and to win by one, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
Thorp joins a list of champions who have won the World Junior crown which includes Tiger Woods (1991), David Toms (1984), and Nick Price (1974). Current wonderkid on the US PGA Tour, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016.
Thorp was almost speechless when he read some of the names on the trophy.
“Tiger and Jason are by far my two biggest sporting idols, so for me to join them is just unreal,” he beamed.
Four Australians have also lifted the championship, Ryan Ruffels (2014), Matthew Giles (2006), Jason Day (2004) and Andrew Buckle (1999, & 2000).