Full Swing Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: Golf Is Hard
Sahith Theegala and Mito Pereira each experience heartbreaks in tournaments during their rookie years on the PGA Tour
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The penultimate episode of Full Swing on Netflix features PGA Tour rookies Sahith Theegala and Mito Pereira. This article will contain spoilers so stop reading now if you'd like to avoid them!
Theegala and Pereira earned their 2022 PGA Tour cards via the Korn Ferry Tour, one of the many tours run by the PGA Tour.
Being a rookie on the PGA Tour is tough, as the episode quickly explains, with the first-timers lacking experience and knowledge of the courses that are played year-in, year-out by the world's best.
Sahith Theegala puts it well: "College you're playing against a lot of like really good players still, but you get to the PGA Tour it's like 'Oh everybody in this field is like a first-team All American. It takes a little bit of time to get used to it."
However, despite their lack of experience and course knowledge, both Theegala and Pereira go on to have great, albeit winless, seasons and secure their cards for next year.
They also both go on to experience heartbreak late on in tournaments that they came oh-so-close to winning. We get to the drama, and heartache, of both near-misses in 'Golf is Hard'.
The episode starts out by introducing the pair at the Players Championship 'First Timers' media day, showing Pereira's three Korn Ferry Tour wins and describing him as a "rookie with pretty high expectations. One of the most promising young stars on the PGA Tour."
Mito Pereira has garnered a huge amount of attention, whereas Sahith Theegala doesn't have that pressure.
"I'm just happy to be here and the goal is to secure my job for next year," Theegala says.
"People don't know exactly what they're going to get when he makes his PGA Tour debut and no one expects a tonne," journalist Dylan Dethier says of Theegala.
"We're playing golf week-in, week out and we're losing a majority of the time," Collin Morikawa is heard in a montage of quotes. "If your win percentage is at 10% you're one of the best to ever play the game," Jordan Spieth says.
"Golf is hard," Rory McIlroy says, giving the episode its title.
"Winning in your rookie year, that takes things to a new level. Do these rookies have what it takes to compete against the best in the world? We're about to find out," Amanda Renner says.
Theegala's Phoenix Open heartbreak
Theegala is followed at the WM Phoenix Open where he is in with a shot of winning for the first time on the PGA Tour before an unlucky bounce sends his tee shot on the drivable 17th left and into the water. It costs him a bogey and he eventually finishes T3rd and just one shot shy of the playoff.
He's just won over $400,000 at the age of 24 but he is absolutely heartbroken. The cameras follow him crying in his parents' shoulders and being consoled after the tournament fell from his grips.
We're then properly introduced to Theegala, who has moved out of his childhood home in California for the first time as we join him doing laundry on his own at his new place in Dallas, Texas
We then hear from his father Murli who is an infectious character with a wonderful smile and attitude.
"I was a big fan of golf because I saw Tiger Woods," Murli says. "I got hooked onto watching a lot on TV. Sahith would sit with me and watch it and I don't know when he got interested but one fine day when he said 'You want to go and hit some balls?' That's when I found out 'Oh he really loved that game.
"First time when he won the Junior World then I knew, ''Oh this kid is special' so I knew that I need to do whatever it takes from my side to help him out."
PEREIRA AND NIEMANN
We then turn to Mito Pereira, the Chilean who won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2021 to earn an immediate promotion to the main tour. Pereira's relationship with Joaquin Niemann is shown and how the pair used to play together in the Chilean team with Joaco idolising the man four years his senior.
Pereira, for some reason, gave up the game and the roles have now reversed with him idolising Niemann, who won the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in spectacular fashion with Pereira and other Spanish speakers watching on and waiting to congratulate him on the 18th green.
Niemann and Pereira are part of a wider group of latinos and Spanish speakers on the PGA Tour - who are now mostly with LIV Golf - Abraham Ancer, Sergio Garcia, Sebastian Munoz and Carlos Ortiz. Ancer, Garcia, Niemann and Ortiz joining LIV isn't touched upon in Full Swing.
The episode takes you behind the scenes to some of their barbecues and gatherings, really showing the family vibes that the Spanish speakers had on the tour. It looks like a lot of fun.
Pereira's PGA Championship heartbreak
This is yet another chance to see a player's perspective of the PGA Championship week. We saw Justin Thomas win the event in Episode 1: Frenemies but Mito's experience is the one that most golf fans will have been looking forward to the most.
"Watching Mito, was I upset that I wasn't there? Yes but I didn't earn my way into the tournament so I have no gripe or anything about that," Theegala says while watching the PGA Championship at home in Texas with his friends. "It's just cool to see the other rookies playing well and, I know if I keep putting my head down and kind of going on the trajectory that I am, hopefully I'll be playing in Majors."
Pereira's heartbreaking double bogey on the 72nd hole was one of the most dramatic on-course moments in 2022, and it is a brutal watch as you get to see it from his team's perspective.
"I just know he's gonna win," his wife Antonia prematurely says to Pereira's caddie's wife - as they're both mic'd up walking around Southern Hills.
"I f***** it up on the last hole," he says to his caddie after THAT drive on the 18th, which found the creek and led to him needing a penalty drop.
Pereira took the defeat very well in front of the TV cameras and he also took it very well in front of the Netflix ones, too. No throwing clubs, swearing or hitting out in anger, he just cuts a disappointed figure along with Niemann who is there to offer up his support.
Golf is, indeed, hard.
Full Swing Season 1 Episode 7: Golf Is Hard
- Episode length: 46 minutes
- Synopsis: Rookies Sahith Theegala and Mito Pereira are both looking for their first win on The PGA Tour, but must learn the hard way that winning isn't easy.
- Main cast: Sahith Theegala, Mito Pereira, Antonia Prida, Joaquin Niemann
- Tournaments featured: WM Phoenix Open, PGA Championship
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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