Tearful Theegala Reacts After Brutal Bounce Costs Him PGA Tour Title

The American was distraught after a painful ending to his WM Phoenix Open

Sahith Theegala close up
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sahith Theegala looked set to win his maiden PGA Tour title with just a birdie and a par needed from the drivable par-4 17th and the driver-wedge par-4 18th at TPC Scottsdale, but it all went wrong for the 24-year-old after a disastrous bounce kicked his tee shot into the water on the 17th.

He hit a lovely-looking fade into the par-4 and was set to have some kind of eagle putt but his ball somehow kicked hard left and ultimately ended up in the water. He was forced to take a drop and was unable to make the required up-and-down for par.

Theegala couldn't hold back his emotions after the round after spurning the opportunity to win PGA Tour title no.1, breaking down in tears in his post-round interviews and after being consoled by his parents.

"A little bit of both [proud and disappointed], sure. I thought I -- sorry," he said before the tears came. "I thought I hit a great shot on 17. It was cutting. As long as it's another yard right, I think that's perfect. Kick straight and it's good. Kicked left into the water there.

"Then I was worried about the ball -- it was such a steep slope, I was worried about the ball kind of rolling back, so I maybe rushed my process just a little bit there and hit a poor chip and hit a poor putt. I just didn't hit the shots at the right time when it counted. But definitely proud of the way I played this week."

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Theegala ended the tournament in T3rd position and one stroke shy of the playoff between Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay. He moves up from 318th to 165th in the world.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor 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. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, 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 2-5. 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: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5