Rookie with the Midas touch, that’s Sahith Theegala

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Before this week, Sahith Theegala's best position after any round on the PGA Tour was T8 after Round One of The Genesis Invitational in 2017. Photo: cbssports.com
Before this week, Sahith Theegala's best position after any round on the PGA Tour was T8 after Round One of The Genesis Invitational in 2017. Photo: cbssports.com

PGA Tour rookie Sahith Theegala sank 147’ 9” of putts en route a bogey-free 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead on Day 1 of the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Theegala earned his Tour card following top-6 finishes in his last two starts in the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals (T4/Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, 6th/Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance).

 

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Before this week, his best position after any round on the PGA Tour was T8 after Round One of The Genesis Invitational in 2017 (finished T49).

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The California native is making his 15th start on the PGA Tour and comes off a T47 at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago.

In his only previous start at the Sanderson Farms Championship, he missed the cut in 2020 (71-72—143).

Following birdies on his first three holes (Nos. 10-12), he ended his round with a 15’ 6” birdie at No. 9.

Was named National Player of the Year his final season at Pepperdine University (2020 graduate).

After six made cuts in 25 starts on Tour last season, Nick Watney (T2/-7) mixed six birdies and an eagle with one bogey to open with 7-under 65.

Following three missed cuts and a T8 (2006/Annandale Golf Club) in four previous Sanderson Farms Championship starts, Watney offset a lone bogey with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 third.

His 7-under 65 marks his lowest score on Tour in an individual stroke-play event since posting the score in round two of the 2020.

He comes off a season defined by just six made cuts in 25 starts; having finished No. 204 in the 2020-21 FedExCup (his lowest final position in a season), is using a one-time career earnings exemption for the 2021-22 season (top 50). He entered the season No. 50 on the career earnings list.

Watney began the 2021-22 season with four sub-par scores at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago to finish T30.

Most recent of his five PGA Tour titles came at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2012.

Seeking his first Tour title in his 168th start, Harold Varner III made nine birdies, one shy of his career-most for a round.

2018 Sanderson Farms Championship runner-up Corey Conners tied his career-best with five consecutive birdies en route to a 5-under 67.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia was T50 after 16 pars and two birdies.

The Sanderson Farms Championship has produced a first-time winner six of the last seven seasons (Sergio Garcia/2020).

PGA Tour

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