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Theegala goes all the way in 1st PGA victory


‘It doesn’t feel real, it’s probably not going to sink in for a while’


SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Sahith Theegala cruised to a maiden PGA Tour title on Sunday, romping to victory by two strokes at the Fortinet Championship in northern California.

Theegala, who started the final round sitting on a
two-shot lead, never looked like squandering that advantage during a composed final round on the Silverado Resort’s north course in Napa.

The 25-year-old from California carded a four-under-par 68 including seven birdies to finish on 21 under for a comfortable win with a crowd of close family and friends looking on from 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 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.”

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’ challenge faded on the final round with a level-par 72 to leave him in fifth on 15 under, six off the lead.

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