Pepperdine Waves men’s golf team alumnus Sahith Theegala garnered a historic PGA TOUR victory on Dec. 16.
Theegala, a 2020 Pepperdine graduate and one of the top golfers in Waves history, and his teammate Tom Hoge won the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
Theegala nailed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to cement the win. He and Hoge are the second rookie tandem all-time to win the Shootout, a PGA TOUR postseason event.
Theegala said tasting victory means a lot.
“Winning is hard, so it feels incredible and also makes me so much hungrier to get an official, individual win,” he said. “It shows that I am on the right path. The main focus is to continue to get better, and the byproduct of that is hopefully better results. And that is what I’m going to keep focusing on.”
Theegala and Hoge closed the match with a 10-under 62 in four-ball. Ryan Palmer and Charley Hoffman both missed birdie putts from around 12 feet that would have forced a playoff. They had 65.
Hoge started the Shootout playing strong, while Theegala struggled due to pulling a muscle in his left side on the first hole. However, the former Pepperdine player was able to take better swings later on.
Theegala reached the TOUR Championship and twice had opportunities to win going to the final hole of events during his rookie PGA Tour season. He ranked 28th in the 2021-22 FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points Lists.
Theegala was Pepperdine’s first-ever National Player of the Year and the third three-time All-American honoree. The golfer won all the major National Player of the Year honors — the Fred Haskins Award, Ben Hogan Award, and Jack Nicklaus award — in his final year at Pepperdine.
Theegala set Pepperdine career records with 74 below-par rounds and a 70.61 scoring average. He had 36 top-20 finishes, 19 top-10 finishes, and tied a Waves record with four wins.
Pepperdine head coach Michael Beard said Theegala making the Top 30 as rookie is a great accomplishment.
“Sahith’s first year on the PGA TOUR has been a blast to follow,” he said. “Since he was a junior golfer, he’s figured out how to be the top at every level he’s played in, so what he’s done as a pro to this point falls in line with who he is as a golfer. Even with his early success he’s stayed humble and grateful and close to his family and friends. We had the privilege of experiencing this same thing when he was at Pepperdine, a great amount of success with an unwavering strong character.”