WMPO Player Profile: Sahith Theegala

Tom MackinJanuary 4, 2023
Share This

Last year, the 25-year-old SoCal native made the most of a sponsor’s exemption at the WM Phoenix Open, holding a solo lead after the second and third rounds before falling a shot short of making a playoff after the final round. He already has eight Top 10s in his first 18 months as a PGA Tour member.

  • CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Won the Triple Crown of collegiate awards as a Pepperdine University golfer in 2020: the Haskins Award, the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Ben Hogan Award; still looking for first Tour win
  • BEST WMPO FINISH: T3 (2022)

Mackin: You tied for third in your first WM Phoenix Open appearance last year. How did you get so comfortable so fast at TPC Scottsdale? 

Theegala: It was a combination of the attitude I had that I was grateful for the sponsor invite and I was playing pretty well going into it. I also played in a super chill group the first two rounds. I just felt really calm and went under the radar the first two days. 

You were tied for the lead going into the 17th hole in the final round. Do you look at last year’s event as one that got away or as another reminder that even as a rookie you could play among the leaders? 

Coming down the stretch on Sunday, I did what I felt I needed to do and hit a great shot on 17, but a bounce there didn’t go my way. These guys are just so good that you need some stuff to go your way. It stings, and will sting forever, but there were so many positives I took away from it. 

What’s your take on the 16th hole? 

I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t mind it to get as crazy as possible. There’s just no other hole or golf tournament like it. I feel like it brings in people who wouldn’t normally watch golf, which is great for the sport. I completely understand why some players don’t like that vibe, but I just think it’s awesome. I feed off that energy. I would love it as loud as possible. 

Last year, you drove to and from your parents’ home in California to the tournament in your well-used 2015 Volkswagen Passat. After winning $3.1 million, did you finally buy a new car? 

I still have the Volkswagen, but I now own a 2020 BMW M5, so a very big upgrade. I’m not materialistic at all, but it was always a dream of mine to have a really nice car. I’m really pumped about this purchase.


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.