Michael Thorbjornsen defeated Akshay Bhatia to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Saturday at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey.
The two 16-year-olds are friends, but put that aside in the final match.
Thorbjornsen, who was born in Cleveland but now lives outside Boston, won 1-up after Bhatia conceded an easy putt on the 36th hole that would have clinched it.
“I’m playing one of my best friends and it should be a lot of fun,” he said after surviving a 21-hole semifinal Friday.
Thorbjornsen posted three pars in a sudden-death playoff Friday on the Upper Course to edge Cameron Sisk and reach the championship.
Bhatia is originally from Los Angeles but now lives in Wake Forest, N.C.
Last month, he stormed to an incredible 10-shot victory at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. That was only months after winning Sage Valley. He also won the Boys Junior PGA last summer. The 2020 prospect could forgo college altogether.