Sahith Theegala has plenty of reasons to play this week in the first fall event.
He’s a California kid who went to college at Pepperdine. He loves Silverado Resort and PGA Tour stops on the West Coast. He’s a big fan of poa annua grass. So, there wasn’t really a question whether he would tee it up this week.
“This was one of my first sponsor invites I got, and one of my best friends lives in Napa,” Theegala said. “It’s just a great event for all my family and friends to come out to.
“I’m such an addict, it’s tough for me to sit around and do nothing, too. I felt like three weeks was ample break. I was fired up missing East Lake by one, so just kind of wanted to play a tournament ASAP.”
Safe to say his anticipation was worth it.
Theegala is one of the 36-hole leaders at the Fortinet Championship, sitting at 12-under 132 following a Friday 64 that moved him to the top of the leaderboard.
The 25-year-old made the Tour Championship after his rookie season last year, but he’s still searching for his first victory. (He did win the QBE Shootout last December). He admitted he can’t stay away from the game too much, and which professional can’t, which is another reason he teed it up in Napa this week.
“I spent probably a week and a half not touching a golf club,” Theegala said. “Then I actually put in new irons for the first time in a really, really long time. Actually practiced the last four or five days, which is more than I thought I’d do. I thought I’d just come here with no practice and start on Monday.”
New irons with refreshed mindset and approach have Theegala in excellent position with the weekend ahead.
“I will say the reps leading up to the event were definitely more relaxed, definitely don’t feel stressed to kind of start off the year well,” he said. “I think it’s definitely translated a little bit.”