US colleges chase Aussie golf world champ

Evin Priest

Canberra teenager Adam Thorp is being chased by a pack of top US colleges after joining countryman Jason Day and Tiger Woods as winners of golf's Junior World Championship at California's famed Torrey Pines.

Up to 15 golf coaches from respected universities such as Michigan and Georgia State are determined to secure his signature having watched the 17-year-old become the fifth Australian to win the prestigious title, joining Ryan Ruffels (2014), Matthew Giles (2006), Day (2004) and Andrew Buckle (2000,1999) on the trophy.

Thorp braved a nervy finish to earn a one-shot win from American Chase Sienkiewicz on Torrey Pines' South course - the site of Woods' iconic 2008 US Open triumph.

He bogeyed the par-4 17th to fall back to a share of the lead before hitting it into the rough from the tee on the par-5 18th.

But Thorp said watching highlights of Woods' 14th major title and Day's two Farmers Insurance Open victories at Torrey Pines inspired him to dig deep and hole a 15-foot birdie putt for the win.

"Dad and I sat down for 30 minutes the night before and watched the 2008 US Open, Day's PGA Tour wins there and Tiger's win at the 2013 Farmers to pump myself up as much as I could," Thorp told AAP.

"It definitely worked and coming into the 18th green, the pin was the same as the 2008 US Open so that was a very cool experience."

Both Day and Woods have gone on to win major championships and enjoy long stints as world No.1.

"It feels unreal; Tiger Woods and Jason Day are by far my two biggest sporting heroes, so to have my name alongside theirs is something I'll always cherish," Thorp said.

"It's a big stepping stone for me and something that makes the dream of pro golf a lot more realistic."

Thorp, a member at Canberra's Federal Golf Club, will next play the R&A's Boys Amateur Championship in August at Royal Portrush, site of next year's British Open, shortly after confirming his decision on an American university.

"I'm talking to about 15 coaches from colleges like Marquette, Arkansas, Michigan, Georgia State and Virginia.

"To have so many colleges looking at you is a big confidence booster.

"College golf is a big stepping stone that a most of the top golfers go through and it'd be great to test my game against the best collegiate players and go from there."