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
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, 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 has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x