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Rising Indian American star Sahith Theegala ‘s impressive Augusta national debut

BY MAHADEV DESAI

Atlanta, GA, April 15, 2023: Indian American professional golfer Sahith Theegala made his first appearance at the 87th Masters Augusta National Golf Club, on April 6, 2023, where he was among 88 players who competed for the green jacket.

The weather was comparatively good on first day, and Theegala made a confident start and was one over at the end of the day. The weather turned nasty on Friday, with bitter cold, blustery winds and rains, which even uprooted three trees! Luckily there were no serious injuries. Play had to be suspended twice. Theegala was one below par after second round. The play commenced early at 8-00 a.m. on Saturday Theegala scored one over so ended up even at the end of 3rd round. The weather was much better on Sunday, His final round was the best as he scored seven birdies and closed with five under. He was 9th in the final rankings. Truly a praiseworthy accomplishment.

The 16th hole on 4th round, will be a memorable one for him and the spectators. His tee shot on par 3 hole landed on a muddy surface on left side of the green. He hit the second shot which hit the green and slowly trickled down into the cup, for a birdie! The spectators who were reminded of similar shot by Tiger Woods in 2005; erupted into a wide applause.

“I just wanted to put my best foot forward because I’ve been playing so well,” said Theegala, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour. “I just really wanted to make sure I felt like I got the most out of it. And I really did. I played really well.”

“You should have seen how many people said, ‘Do it for Tiger, Tiger chip-in’, and all that stuff when I was over there,” Theegala added. “I just wanted to get it anywhere on the green because I had kind of a muddy lie, and yeah, it was gross over there. But yes, I can’t wait to watch the replay because I don’t know what I did. I don’t even know the angle the ball took.

“I was just blacked out when I hit the chip because I was just so happy to get it on the green.”

Sahith Theegala, who has Indian ancestry, was born in Fullerton, California to Muralidharan and Sushila Theegala. 25-year-old Sahith graduated from Pepperdine University in 2020 and turned pro in the same year.

Sahith credits his father for encouraging him and inspiring him to play golf. His closeknit family including his younger brother Sahan and relatives are very supportive and his warmest cheerleaders.

Theegala was a three-time NCAA All-American at Pepperdine University.In 2020,he  also won the Haskins Award, the Ben Hogan Award, and the Jack Nicklaus Award, in the same year.

At the end of the 2021–22 season, Theegala made the Tour Championship by finishing in top 30.

Sahith is a modest, unassuming and gracious person. He is proud of his Indian heritage, and he wants more Indian-Americans and Indians to play and compete in sports.

His record speaks for itself. He opened his 2022–23 season with a top-10 finish, and he now has very impressive eleven under ten spots under his belt. He has jumped from 300 to 30 in the World Golf rankings. He has got all it takes to rise to the top. It won’t be long before he wins one of the four majors and also earns the coveted green jacket.

Theegala, who now resides in Spring, Texas, appears in the sports documentary series Full Swing which premiered on Netflix on February 15, 2023.

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