Top collegiate golfer set to make Barracuda debut
The Barracuda Championship is set to tee off tomorrow at Old Greenwood Golf Course, and will feature a number of top and up-and-coming PGA players.
Among those competing will be three-time NCAA All-American and winner of the Haskins Award and Ben Hogan Award, Sahith Theegala.
The Pepperdine University standout, who is making his sixth PGA Tour start, is set to make his Barracuda debut tomorrow, and earlier today, gave his thoughts on competing at the tournament.
“Its nice to be playing in my home state of California,” said Theegala during a Wednesday press conference. “I’ve always loved the Tahoe and Reno, Truckee area.”
Theegala was Pepperdine’s first National Player of the Year. In his final collegiate year he won the Southwestern Invitational, Alister Mackenzie Invitational and the Australian Master of Amateurs. In four playing seasons over five years, he ended with the best scoring average (70.61) in Pepperdine history.
He said that after his first couple of PGA events, he’s beginning to settle in and find his groove.
“I’m transitioning pretty well. I feel like my game is coming along pretty well, and I’m starting to get really comfortable being out here, and that was a big thing … the first couple of weeks I was too excited,” said Theegala.
“Just the first couple of weeks, seeing guys like Rory, DJ, Brooks. Seeing them in person it’s like, ‘wow, I grew up watching these guys, and they’ve been dominating and all of a sudden I’m competing against them’ … the star-struck part of it definitely took a little bit to get over.”
Coming into this week’s tournament, Theegala said the layout at Old Greenwood along with it being the only event to use the Modified Stableford scoring format, suits his style of play.
“I’m a cutter of the ball so this course really sets up well for me because I can hit 12, 13 cuts off the tee, which is awesome,” said Theegala.
“Pretty much every par-5 is reachable and a couple of drivable par-4s, so it’s definitely exciting.”
Theegala and a field of more than 60 PGA golfers are set to tee off tomorrow at 7 a.m. for the opening round, which will be aired on The Golf Channel.
“I’ve always been a competitor and I wouldn’t play a tournament if I didn’t want to win, so obviously the end goal is coming down the stretch Sunday to give myself a shot at the championship,” added Theegala.
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