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12 players to follow in 2022: (9) Sahith Theegala

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Over the next 12 days, the two presenters on our new ‘Across The Pond’ podcast, Matt Vincenzi and Jason Daniels give their 12 players to follow for 2022 to coincide with the 12 days of Christmas

None so far have won on their respective tours, so here’s to a long-term watch and investment!

9) Sahith Theegala (PGA Tour)

Another golfer who could be in store for a big 2022 in Sahith Theegala. The 24-year-old turned pro two seasons ago but faced uncertainty with status due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With professional golf on hiatus for three months and the Korn Ferry Qualifying Tournament canceled for the year, the path to playing on the Tour was convoluted at best. Theegala considered going back to play another season of NCAA golf, but having been the reigning player of the year he had little left to prove at that level.

The 2020 Haskins Award winner from Pepperdine missed the cut at the first event of the Korn Ferry Tour finals, which caused some doubt for Theegala and those close to him. Sahith bounced back in resounding fashion to finish T4 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and secured his PGA Tour card for the 2022 season.

Trying to earn a PGA Tour card can be an absolute grind and proved to be difficult journey for Theegala over the past few years. With the stress of not knowing where his next start will be in the rearview mirror, the Californian should be freed up to have an excellent season. Some of his supreme talent was on display back in October at the Sanderson Farms Championship, where he finished in 8th place after a hot start. Theegala finished 5th that week in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and had positive strokes gained metrics in every significant category for the week.

Theegala is long off the tee and gains an average of 2.0 strokes in driving distance on the field throughout his career thus far. Alternatively, he loses about 2.2 strokes to the field per event in driving accuracy. If he can get more control of his golf ball off the tee in 2022, he has a real shot to win Rookie of the Year.

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  1. Pingback: 2022 Sony Open Outright Selections: Kevin Kisner primed for big week in Honolulu – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

Greg Norman takes swipe at R&A on social media over Open Championship snub

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Despite convincing nobody but himself that Greg Norman was going to play at the 150th Open Championship, the two-time champion has since stated that he is “disappointed with their (the R&A) decision.”

As continually confirmed by the ruling authorities, “The entry terms and conditions for The Open stipulate that a champion must be aged 60 or under or have won the championship in the previous 10 years to be exempt from qualifying. That remains the case for The 150th Open and we have no plans for any additional exemptions.”

At 67 years-of-age and with his last victory being 29-years ago, it would have taken an extraordinary turnaround from not only the rules committee, but also tradition, for him to get in.

However, demonstrating that he believed he was going to be offered a place, the Shark has taken a not so subtle swipe over the decision with a recent Instagram post from St. Andrews captioned:

“Prepping for no reason. But still one of my all time fav golf courses to play @thehomeofgolf.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Greg Norman (@shark_gregnorman)

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, the Aussie legend stays away from the current furore over the LIV golf series, stating his application “wasn’t anything else other than a sincere ask.”

“I’m a two-time Champion Golfer of the Year.” said Norman. “It is St Andrews, one of my favourite golf courses. I’ve always sung praises about the R&A my entire – being the champion golfer of the year, right, I’ve supported them as far as I could possibly support them as a representative of being the holder of the Claret Jug.”

He continued, “So I actually thought my son and I talked about this before I even came on board with LIV and I’ve spoken to, you know, former heads of R&As to understand ‘okay, what is the process?’ And I knew that they had changed the date. But I also know other players over the age of 60 have been given an exemption, right?”

Norman’s latest interviews confirm the feelings he showed when talking to Australian Golf Digest, when commenting, “I’m disappointed with their decision, particularly given it is The 150th Open. I have been a staunch proponent of the R&A since 1977 and a proud Champion Golfer of the Year–twice.”

The interview with Sky concludes this topic with his reasons behind the ambitious request in the first place:

“So hello duh it’s a simple writing a letter to Martin Slumbers asking: ‘Hey, as a two-time Open Champion Golfer of the Year. I love St. Andrews. I love to be there for that.’ It was a full 100% sincere ask.”

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19th Hole

Max Homa reveals his dream celebrity fourball group

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Max Homa is fresh off his fourth victory on the PGA Tour, having seen off the challenge of Keegan Bradley to claim his second Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday.

The Californian has seen his star rise over the past few years, having just broken the top 30 in the Official World Golf Rankings while remaining one of the most popular players in the sport due to his humorous activity on social media.

This week, Homa was a guest on GolfWRX’s TG2 podcast where he spoke about a number of topics relating to his latest victory and his equipment setup.

The 31-year-old also got into his dream celebrity fourball, and it’s fair to say that the answers show just how big of a sporting fanatic he really is.

For those who follow Homa on Twitter, his opening choice of Green Bay Packer’s QB Aaron Rodgers will come as no surprise. The two good friends teamed up together at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and Rodgers even sent a congratulatory note on Twitter to Homa following his win on Sunday.

For his second selection, Homa turned to NBA star Steph Curry, who the golfer has repeatedly praised for his attempts to grow the game of golf, with the most recent being Curry’s introduction of a new junior golf tour.

Finally, Homa plumped for Tiger Woods, and when co-host Brian Knudson remarked that it was quite a group of talented golfers, the Wells Fargo champ stated: “You don’t want to be chasing golf balls all day.” Good point, Max.

Who would make your dream celebrity fourball, WRXers?

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson’s latest Twitter activity suggests he’s not happy that he was ‘canceled’

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Phil Mickelson is back on Twitter, and he appears to be less than pleased with his ‘cancelation’.

In his first Twitter activity since February, Mickelson liked a user’s tweet that was in response to a Clay Travis tweet.

Here is the original tweet from Clay Travis, which highlights that the NBA will be playing matches next year in the UAE, a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.

The response, which Lefty liked, was from Twitter user Brandon Jones who voiced his frustration over the uneven backlash Mickelson has received in comparison to the NBA.

The like has since been removed by Mickelson, or perhaps it was liked by mistake.

As an aside, the 51-year-old also surprisingly liked one other tweet on his return to the platform, a Yahoo report on the PGA Tour blocking the release of “rebels” Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

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