The uppermost collegiate golfer in the nation swings his clubs in Malibu.
Pepperdine men’s golfer Sahith Theegala this week was named the winner of the Fred Haskins Award. The award, announced May 8, is given to the top Division I men’s college golfer annually and is voted on by coaches, players and media members. Some of the honor’s past winners include golf greats Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw.
Theegala, given the award during a live presentation on the Golf Channel, was honored to receive the recognition.
“Words can’t even begin to describe it; honestly, it still hasn’t set in,” he said. “Just to think that my name belongs with some of the other names on the list like Tiger and Phil and other greats is just incredible to think about. It’s an incredible honor.”
The golf season was shortened because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has enveloped the globe and put the sports world on pause; however, throughout the Waves’ eight tournaments, Theegala was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 golfer in the Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin polls as he helped the Waves golf team reach the top of the golf rankings.
The fifth-year senior said Pepperdine worked hard to sit atop the polls.
“The coaches did their best to get us to this point,” Theegala said. “The team was such a big reason why I had such a big year. Our team was just so competitive within ourselves, we never let ourselves get complacent and we were always keeping each other on our toes. So, I attribute a large part of my individual success to the team pushing me and the coaches pushing me. That was honestly a really big part of why I played well this year.”
The Waves golfer won two tournaments this season, had six finishes in the top 10 and finished in the top 20 in all eight competitions. Theegala posted a 69.04 scoring average, a Pepperdine record. His career scoring average of 70.61 is a Pepperdine record, as is his 74 below-par rounds. Theegala’s 36 top 20 finishes are tied for first in school history, and he is fourth in career wins.
Theegala recently was named a first team All-American by GCAA/PING and Golfweek. He is also a three-time All-West Coast Conference honoree and a four-time All-West Region selection.