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PGA Tour University

Michael Thorbjornsen gets his PGA Tour card early with Christo Lamprecht injury at NCAAs

May 25, 2024

Michael Thorbjornsen hits a shot at the 2023 NCAA Men's Golf Division I Championships.

Christian Petersen

In an unexpected twist, the race for the top spot in the PGA Tour University rankings is over just one round into the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships. Georgia Tech senior Christo Lamprecht was not in the lineup on Saturday morning at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., due to a back soreness, and that eliminates the current No. 2 in PGA Tour U from competing for the NCAA individual title.

For the South African to overcome No. 1 Michael Thorbjornsen, of Stanford, he needed to win at La Costa and have the Cardinal finish worse than in a two-way tie for 10th. With that no longer being a possibility, Thorbjornsen will claim the top spot for PGA Tour U and earn his PGA Tour card for the rest of 2024 and all of 2025.

The circumstance is likely more disappointing to Lamprecht because of how strongly the world’s top-ranked amateur started at La Costa. Over a very challenging North Course, reimagined for the NCAAs by architect Gil Hanse, Lamprecht shot two-under-par 70—one of only 12 rounds under par. He was tied for fifth, while Thorbjornsen opened with a 74 and was tied for 41st. Lamprecht can still return to action for his team in the final two team qualifying rounds on Sunday and Monday and play during the eight-team match play should the Yellow Jackets go that far.

The upside for Lamprecht is that he’s guaranteed to finish in the No. 2-5 positions in PGA Tour U, and those golfers receive Korn Ferry Tour membership for the rest of this season and are exempt into the final stage of PGA Tour Q School in the fall.

Thorbjornsen, ranked No. 3 in the WAGR and champion of the 2018 U.S. Junior, recorded five consecutive top-eight finishes for Stanford heading into the NCAA championship. His last win came in the Cabo Collegiate Invitational in March.

Last year, the race for PGA Tour U No. 1 was over before the NCAAs, with Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech being so dominate that he wrapped it up early. Having earned his PGA Tour card, Aberg, of course, quickly established himself as a force by winning the 2023 RSM Classic and playing for the winning European Ryder Cup side. This season, the Swede has two solo runner-ups, at Pebble Beach and the Masters.