COTA DE CAZA, CA (August 22, 2016) -- Fifteen days ago, Pepperdine sophomore Sahith Theegala began a stretch of back-to-back-to-back golf tournaments, beginning with the 112th Canadian Men's Amateur Championship and wrapping things up with the 9th Southern California Match Play Championship. Little did he know it would be one of the hottest stretches of golf of his life, as Theegala T7 at the Canadian Amateur, reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur and Monday, dominated his Round of 32 match at the SCGA Match Play Championship, winning 7 and 6 over Mike Mehran of San Diego.
"Last week at the U.S. Amateur was incredible, the amount of support I got was amazing," said Theegala. "Today, I really just got off to a hot start, and he wasn't able to roll in a few putts. I just took off from there."
A hot start for Theegala was right, as the Chino Hills resident collected birdies on four of his opening five holes, jumping out to a quick 5 up advantage. For Theegala, it was his first time seeing the North Course of Coto de Caza, flying back from the U.S. Amateur on Saturday before arriving to SCGA Match Play Monday morning, unable to squeeze in a practice round. He has now played 11 rounds in 15 days.
"The SCGA has been great to me, so I really wanted to come play this event," said Theegala. "I'm a bit of a streaky player, so match play really suits my game because I'm able to be aggressive. Now that I've seen the course, and realize it's really a risk-reward type of layout. Looking to take advantage of that tomorrow."
Theegala advances to face SCGA veteran Mark Miller, who defeated Brandon Tsujimoto of UC Riverside 2 and 1. Miller got out to a start similar to that of Theegala's, winning four of his first five holes. Tsujimoto would fight back, bringing things within 1 late, but Miller's early lead was too much to overcome, and the West Covina mid-am advances to a date with his second collegian in two days.
It was a strong round of play for SCGA mid-ams, as a number advanced on, including former SCGA Amateur Champion Tim Hogarth, recent SCGA Public Links Champion Nick Geyer and 2016 SCGA Mid-Am Champ Corby Segal. The men will look to be the first mid-ams to win the Championship, which is in its 9th year and has been won by seven collegians and one high schooler, Dan Erickson, the defending champion and youngest player to advance to Tuesday's Round of 16. Erickson beat Braeden Koran 6 and 5 Monday.
Round of 16 play will begin Tuesday morning at 8:50 a.m. PST The quarterfinals will follow in the afternoon.