Why this pro is staying humble after his breakout rookie season

Sahith Theegala is still attempting to take it all in as a PGA Tour member nearly two months after his run to the Tour Championship in his rookie season.

Theegala said before the Zozo Championship on Wednesday in Japan: “I’ve just been getting more and more comfortable. I’m still trying to learn as much as possible.” “I believe I also stated that at The Open. Yes, I continue to be just as terrified and eager about each and every event I commit to. Although I haven’t yet lost it, which is excellent, I still believe that every single event is crucial.

Theegala made his maiden major cut at The Open in July after shooting rounds of 69 and 68 to finish in the top 10 after 36 holes. However, he was unable to match the St. Andrews record score that week, shooting even par on the weekend.

Theegala was nevertheless humbled by the encounter.

After the last round at the Old Course, he commented, “I’m simply pleased that I was even here. “I didn’t even expect to play here.”

Theegala is gradually developing into one of the PGA Tour interviewees who is more forthcoming. He and Cameron Young were the only rookies from last season to qualify for the Tour Championship after both achieved back-to-back top-15 performances in the first two FedEx Cup Playoff events. Theegala claimed he still couldn’t believe he was even on the PGA Tour after earning his place in the field.

Theegala stated during the BMW Championship’s final round, “The fact that I’m even on the PGA Tour is pretty absurd, my only expectation was really to keep my card, and obviously I’ve blown that out of the water.”

Being one of the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings and qualifying for the Tour Championship is no minor accomplishment, especially given how much importance the PGA Tour is placing on it. Everybody who qualifies for East Lake will now receive berths in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, two-year Tour exemptions, and exemptions into the majors the following year, according to the Tour.

Theegala remarked on Wednesday of the invitation to the Tournament of Champions, “Oh, it was such a bonus. I didn’t even know about it until really I think Tuesday or Wednesday of East Lake was when Phil came up to me and he’s like, ‘Yeah, we just approved you guys playing in Sentry.’ That will be incredible kicking the year off in Maui. I don’t even think there’s 40 players, like 40 players, big purse. It’s just a treat, such a bonus and hopefully, I can treat that — well, the golf will be very focused, but treat that as a vacation, too.”

Theegala is currently entering his second season on the Tour, has established his standing, and is aiming to get his maiden victory. Two weeks before The Open, he came close at the Travelers Championship but lost to Xander Schauffele by two after double-bogeying the 72nd hole. As a sponsor’s exemption, he also held the lead in the WM Phoenix Open until a bogey on the final round’s short par-4 17th.

Theegala asserted that his expectations haven’t changed despite the fact that his rookie season was a success. Success has just given him greater liberty.

“Nothing’s really changed,” he said. “Obviously, I have a lot of opportunities now this year in terms of picking my schedule and all that stuff, but no, life’s the same. I have really no expectations even from last year’s really good year. Just going to try to keep getting a little bit better.

“Golf’s crazy, the game comes and goes. You’ve just got to play well when it comes, so that’s all I’m kind of looking forward to.”

Original article posted on Golf.com

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