A missed cut in his Sanderson Farms Championship debut in 2020 and a T-8th in 2021. Could a win be next on Sahith Theegala’s upward trajectory in Mississippi?
All signs point toward the PGA Tour sophomore picking up his first win sooner rather than later. Theegala was named one of three finalists for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors. He’s likely going to finish third in the voting behind Cameron Young and Tom Kim, but it was still a stellar season in a year with an uber-talented rookie class.
Theegala had his heart broken in his first true chance to win in February at the WM Phoenix Open where he finished T-3rd. He didn’t let the 71st hole despair get to him as he collected three more top-10s on the season out of five total. That included at the Travelers Championship where he held the lead on the 72nd hole before falling to T-2nd.
He’s known for his upbeat, positive attitude. It helped him bounce back from these misfortunes to make it all the way to the Tour Championship.
That’s a huge accomplishment for a player who’s hovering right around 50th in the world and wasn’t yet exempt for all the majors next year. Now he is.
It was a shame Theegala’s only major start in 2022 was at The Open Championship.
Theegala also could feel let down by not being a part of last week’s winning Presidents Cup team. It doesn’t seem like he’s beating himself up too much for it and will likely use it as motivation to try to make the team in 2024 and the Ryder Cup team in 2023.
The 24-year-old’s stats from last season didn’t jump off the page. He was 74th in total strokes gained per round (.339) and was a little inaccurate with the driver and putter.
Plenty of talent and hard work are there and he finds a way to get the ball in the hole. Not to mention, getting a second go-round on courses on the schedule after learning new ones for two years straight on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour should make his life a little easier.
The fruits of that experience already paid off in the first event of the season. Theegala finished T-6th at the Fortinet Championship in his home state where he had a good putting week at 12th in SG (1.181).