Matador of the Week: Eirik Thomassen

Eirik Thomassen swings his club and watches the ball fly at the Nick Watney Invitational in Kingsburg, Calif., held from Sept. 26-27. Thomassen earned his second straight top-10 finish of the season, shooting 4-under 209 in the tournament.

Benjamin Miller, Reporter

Eirik Thomassen of the men’s golf team makes this edition of Matador of the Week after finishing top 10 in two consecutive invitationals this month.

Thomassen tied for sixth place at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational early in September, and tied again for ninth in the Nick Watney Invitational on Sept. 26-27. His focused play was instrumental in leading the Matadors to a seventh-place finish in the Nick Watney Invitational. The senior earned his lowest score in the final round, finishing 3-under 68 for the day.

“The last few strokes are just as important as the first strokes,” the golfer said. “It is not over till it is over and you just have to focus the whole time.”

Thomassen made very few mistakes on the day and corrected them when they occurred. He stumbled on the 14th hole with a bogey, before quickly making up for it by sinking two clutch birdies in a row on the final two holes.

“It’s nice because there are guys you can always count on who are going to be consistent and take care of business,” CSUN men’s golf coach Jim Bracken said. “He stays calm and relaxed and he’s been playing well. I’m sure he will continue. He’s making a lot less errors. Everybody has a bad swing here and there but he’s cut down on that. So his mistakes aren’t nearly like what they’ve been.”

Senior Eirik Thomassen is in his fourth season of golf for the Matadors after coming to the United States from Norway in 2019. (CSUN Athletics Department)

Thomassen picked up a golf club for the first time at age 5. His grandfather taught him the game when he was a child, and he has been playing ever since. The time he spent working on golf has led to success on the course, pushing his teammates to try and match his production.

“Considering he’s my roommate, it feels even better because it gives me a goal to strive for,” said senior Brandon McDonough. “Having someone who’s consistent, it shows a mark of what we should be able to do as a team, and it should motivate us to not only get better for ourselves and for the school, but also to match the level that he plays at.”

Thomassen grew up in Norway, arriving in the States in 2019 for his first year of college. Over the summer, he returned to his home country, where he claimed the National Norwegian Match Play Championship, winning four rounds to capture the trophy.

His transition to college was relatively smooth, considering all the changes that come with moving to a new country. He says he was fortunate because there was a fellow Norwegian on the team who he knew from back home. Having a friend with a similar background to walk him through the experience let him know what to expect.

“He certainly helped me out when I got there too, even though there was certain new stuff I had to learn and experience,” Thomassen said.

Thomassen is laser-focused on finishing his tenure at CSUN strong. He has grand hopes for his future, pondering the possibility of turning pro. He also hopes to accomplish some individual goals before he leaves by setting a personal record in the form of a first-place finish.

“I am just trying to play as good as possible and then see if I feel I am good enough to play professionally after that,” Thomassen said. “I have two runner-up finishes so it would be awesome to get an individual win as well.”

The Matadors have a week off before hosting the next golf tournament, the Bill Cullum Invitational, on Oct. 10-11. The match will be played at CSUN’s home course, The Oaks Club at Valencia. The Matadors will try to repeat their performance from last year and walk away in first place with the help of Thomassen.

“I want to help the team as much as possible,” Thomassen said. “We have our home tournament coming up now and it will be one of the highlights of the fall season. We won it last year so we would love to win it again.”