SAHITH THEEGALA FROM PEPPERDINE GRABS 2ND ROUND LEAD AT PATRIOT ALL-AMERICA INVITATIONAL – DEFENDING CHAMPION THORNBERRY SITS ONE-SHOT BACK
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (December 30, 2016) – Sahith Theegala from Pepperdine shot a second round 4-under par 66 to go to 6-under for the tournament and take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Patriot All-America Invitational. Defending tournament champion Braden Thornberry (-5) and first-round leader Andrew Whalen (-5) are among 12 golfers within 5-shots of the lead. Theegala, Shintaro Ban from UNLV, Nahum Mendoza III from San Diego State and Sean Crocker from Southern California shot the best rounds of the day with 4-under par 66s. Saturday’s final round will begin at 8:30 AM, with leaders teeing off at 10:40.
Theegala, a sophomore from Chino Hills, Calif., shot an opening round 68 and followed it up with a five birdie, one-bogey second round. Theegala is currently ranked 94th on the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking.
“I started off pretty well,” said Theegala. “I hit a good drive on one (first hole) and ended up getting up and down for par, which was big. It kinda set the tone for the rest of the day, because No. 1 is a pretty tough hole. I was hitting my irons really well. So I gave myself a lot of birdie chances.”
A field of 84 elite golfers are competing in a 54-hole, stroke-play competition on The Wigwam’s famed Gold Course. Final round action will begin at 8:30 AM off both the 1st and 10th tees. For more information, live scoring and tee times, visit www.patriotallamerica.com. The event is free for fans to attend with food and beverage options available through the West Valley Mavericks, Nibblers Catering and The Wigwam Resort.
Top 10 Results From 2nd Round:
Pos. Name 2nd Round Score Total
1 Theegala, Sahith -4 -6
T2 Thornberry, Braden -1 -5
T2 Whalen, Andrew E -5
T4 Ban, Shintaro -4 -4
T4 Gumberg, Jordan -2 -4
T6 Mendoza III, Nahum -4 -3
T6 Champ, Cameron -1 -3
T8 Hardy, Nick -2 -2
T8 Dossey, Cooper -2 -2
T8 Gil, Tony E -2\
T8 Olsen, Zachary +1 -2
Patriot All-America Invitational
2nd Round Quotes
Leader Shahith Theegala:
On his round:
I started off pretty well. I hit a good drive on one and ended up getting up and down for par, which was big. It kinda set the tone for the rest of the day, because one is a pretty tough hole. I was hitting my irons really well. So I gave myself a lot of birdie chances. I actually missed a couple on the front nine. But I hit one close on 8 and made birdie there. And then nine, it was another big turning point in the round. I hit a good iron shot, just pulled it a little bit. It went a little over the green. Yesterday, I ended up chipping it in for par to finish my round. And today, very similar chip straight up the hill and I ended up chipping in for birdie there. So that was huge. And then, 11 the par 3 I hit it stiff again to about three feet and had that for birdie. I just kept hitting good iron shots. I birdied 12 as well. My only hiccup was on 14, which wasn’t too bad. I hit a good second shot just over the green. I hit a poor chip I’d say to about 10-15 feet and just missed that. Other than that it was really solid. And then, I got another one coming in on 16, which was nice.
On what is it about this golf course that makes you play well:
Obviously the golf course is in great condition and I like smaller greens too. I think that kinda fits my eye pretty well. I’ve been driving it and hitting my irons really well this week so I’m just trying to keep running with that. I could definitely make a few more putts too, but these greens are really tough. You can’t expect to make a whole lot.
On the game plan for tomorrow:
Same thing. I’ve been it driving well. Keep hitting fairways and I think after that it should be alright from there. So probably the main thing I’m going to be focusing on is hitting fairways.
On what went well during his second round:
Today I didn’t miss it too bad and when I did it was in the right places. The tough holes I got lucky here and there. I made a majority of the pars. I think my momentum hole was hole No. 10. I stuck it to 7 feet but I was aimed 3 feet right of the hole and it dropped for an eagle so that was really big. I continued to make a birdie on 12. I made a short little two-footer. And, on the last hole I got lucky with the read. Nick (Hardy), he putted first and I was just right in the middle of his line and I got the read there so that was really good to finish on.
On his eagle on the par 5, 10th hole:
Hit driver, then hybrid from 229 and just magically got it there. That was pretty tough, I was just hoping I would be around the green and try to scramble around for birdie but an eagle definitely helped for this round. That was huge.
On his plan going into the final round:
Tomorrow, same plan. Just be steady. Try not to make too many mistakes. Make the smarter decisions. Be decisive tomorrow and I’ll be okay.
On his -4 under 66 and what was different compared to first round:
Driver. Honestly, that was pretty much it. I was closer to the greens so I could hit it closer to the hole and then made a couple of putts.
On his new driver and the story behind it:
I broke my driver head during my first round. So, I called my mom right after the round. I said “Listen, there’s a backup head in my house at State (San Diego State).” But she didn’t have a key on her. But luckily, one of our family members has a key so she had to find her and had to get in there. She then had to get in contact with FedEx by 4 PM, so it could get here. My poor mom. Shout out to her – Thank You. I got it late last night.
On being two shots back going into the final round:
Plan for tomorrow is to pretty much do the same thing. Hit the fairways and get it in the hole in the least amount of shots as possible. Maybe what I could do differently is today I caught a flyer out of the rough that I wasn’t expecting. That’s something I can expect tomorrow anytime I’m in the rough. Just kind of a mental note.
On his eagle on No. 2:
I hit a little two iron down there and I had 113 (yards) pin. I tried to carry it 115 and it was just perfect 115. I hit a little draw in there and it just spun back in the hole.
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