AUGUSTA, Ga. — Sahith Theegala started his final round at Augusta National on Sunday 11 shots off the lead. The 25-year-old wasn’t feeling much pressure and played one of the best rounds of his life to shoot a 67 that left him in a tie for ninth.
The former Pepperdine star punched his ticket to the 2024 Masters via a Top 12 finish — and captured the hearts of Augusta patrons with some dramatic shots.
The most memorable shot came on the pa-3 16th hole where he sailed the green into the gallery backing the left side of the green.
From there he made a miraculous chip from 24 yards — stirring memories of Tiger Woods’ iconic chip in when he won the green jacket in 2005. Theegala said it was his first memory from watching the Masters as a kid.
Theegala clipped it with a perfect pace and then watched it turn and track into the bottom of the cup as the patrons went wild.
Sahith Theegala chips in for birdie on No. 16 to move into a tie for third place. #themasters pic.twitter.com/NBtrLAW2BV
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 9, 2023
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“Oh, my God. You should have seen how many people said, ‘Do it for Tiger, Tiger chip-in,’ and all that stuff when I was over there,” said Theegala, who is No. 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. “I just wanted to get it anywhere on the green because I had kind of a muddy lie, and yeah, it was gross over there.
“But yes, I can’t wait to watch the replay because I don’t know what I did. I don’t even know the angle the ball took. I was just blacked out when I hit the chip because I was just so happy to get it on the green. … it was just madness when it went in.”
This was Theegala’s best finish in a major. He missed the cut in the 2017 and 2021 U.S. Opens and finished T-34 in the 2022 Open Championship.
“It just gives me a little bit more confidence and just makes me a little bit more comfortable with the best guys in the world, and I know I still have a long way to go to kind of get to that level that I think I can get to,” he said. “It’s just going to require a lot of work and a little bit of luck. It’s just another step forward. There’s going to be a lot of steps back, but this is just a big step forward for me in terms of confidence because I feel like my game is getting better and better and that’s all I’m focused on right now.”