Sahith Theegala managed to secure his maiden PGA Tour title on Sunday after finishing with a lead of two strokes at the Fortinet Championship in Northern California. Theegala started the final round with a two-shot lead and looked comfortable with his advantage as he finished in a composed manner at the Silverado Resort’s north course in Napa.
The 25-year-old Californian golfer carded a four-under-par 68, including seven birdies, to finish on 21 under for a comfortable win. His victory was witnessed by a crowd of close family and friends in the galleries. Theegala’s procession to the title was effectively sealed on the 14th hole when he rolled in a superb 20-foot birdie putt to pull five shots clear.
South Korea’s Kim Seong-hyeon, playing in the group ahead, raised hopes of a rally with back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes to trim Theegala’s lead to three shots, but the leader would not be denied. Theegala responded to Kim’s challenge by drilling a superb second shot from the fairway to seven feet of the hole on the par-four 16th. He then coolly rolled in the birdie putt to take a four-shot lead with just two holes remaining.
A solid par on the par-three 17th left Theegala four clear heading to the par-five 18th, and although Kim bagged another birdie on the last to cut the lead back to three, the outcome was never in doubt.
Theegala played conservatively to close with a bogey for an aggregate 267. “It doesn’t feel real; it’s probably not going to sink in for a while,” an elated Theegala said after the win. “But man, there was a lot of good golf, and that was probably the most fun I’ve had on a golf course in my life. Family and friends cheering me on, it’s mind-blowing. This feeling is incredible, and I couldn’t have done it without my whole team and everyone out here. It’s a team effort, and for me to put it together like this means the world.”
Other Notable Performances
Kim finished on 19 under after a closing four-under-par 68. Australia’s Cam Davis finished alone in third on 17 under after a closing 70, one clear of Eric Cole on 16 under, who also finished with a 70. Two-time major champion Justin Thomas’s challenge faded on the final round with a level-par 72 to leave him in fifth on 15 under, six off the lead. Brendon Todd finished in sixth on 14 under after moving up the leaderboard with a six-under-par 66 to close.
The day’s biggest mover was Troy Merritt, whose seven-under-par 65 was good enough to propel him 30 places up the leaderboard into a four-way tie for seventh on 13 under. Merritt finished alongside Max Homa, who closed with a three-under-par 69, England’s Callum Tarren, and US veteran Matt Kuchar.
(This story has not been edited by Smartkhabrinews staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)
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