WM Phoenix Open

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

TPC Scottsdale

Sahith Theegala

Quick Quotes

Q. Incredible round today, first round at WM Phoenix Open. Just thoughts on the day. Obviously bogey-free so far, but didn't get to finish. So thoughts on that.

SAHITH THEEGALA: Obviously really good day. I got off to a pretty hot start. I had a couple -- it was nice to see one go in on the first hole, that always kind of sets the tone for the day.

But the big key for me like always in my game is just putting my driver in the fairway and I was able to do that early and often. I think the wind kind of laid down for us a little bit at the end there.

So was able it take advantage of some opportunities and, yeah, super happy with the way I started.

Obviously I got a little chippy at the end, I started hitting my driver a little squirrely at the end, so this is a welcome stop, honestly.

I think I have like a 15-, 18-footer for par on 8, but it was just kind of nice because I was kind of losing some momentum there.

Q. What would you have been doing this week if you don't get the sponsor invite?

SAHITH THEEGALA: Rest. I wasn't even going to do the Monday because I played four weeks in a row. And it's probably the first time in my life that I played five weeks in a row, but I've been pretty good the last couple weeks of taking a day or two off here and there and not grinding too much on the practice stuff. But, yeah, I would be doing nothing.

Q. What did it mean to get that exemption?

SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, it was really big. I found out Sunday at Farmers and I was obviously really excited because I knew the history of the tournament and obviously super strong field, probably the strongest field I played in so far this year, and I just figured it was like another free roll opportunity, might as well take advantage of it and obviously super thankful that I got in.

Q. What kind of expectations do you put on yourself when you play out here in a tournament like this?

SAHITH THEEGALA: Oh, a tournament like this, I literally had no expectations coming in because, first of all, I didn't even know I was playing until 12 days ago or whatever that was -- less than that.

But again it feels like a free roll because I shouldn't be here. I think maybe two guys from the Korn Ferry category got in as alternates, so I wasn't even on planning on being here. So the fact that I'm here, I think we had a pretty good mindset of just trying to enjoy the week as much as possible and it's been good so far the first four days.

Q. What did you learn from being in contention at Sanderson?

SAHITH THEEGALA: That was a huge week for me. It was probably the best, golf stretch of golf I played, those last couple Korn Ferry finals events and then those first couple PGA TOUR events. Some of the best ball striking I've ever had.

So it was really great for me, knowing that when I'm playing near the top of my game that I'm able to compete. That was the biggest takeaway I had from that week, because the fact that I was able to put myself in contention, come back nine on Sunday the last day was really cool, kind of looking back on that.

Q. How was that first experience walking into the stadium on 16 and just kind of the atmosphere here. Talk a little bit about what that feels like. It's definitely different than anything else on TOUR.

SAHITH THEEGALA: It's so awesome, I think it's so great for the game and it's so much fun. Like you never, this is the only event all year that there's something like that.

So just tried to embrace it. It was cool having my family like walk through the tunnel with me there and have them there with me too. I got away with a shot there a little bit. I thought I blocked it. I was like, just carry the bunker. And it did and I ended up like making a 15-footer there.

So the atmosphere after I made that was really cool. I've never gotten a cheer that big, obviously.

Q. Is your wrist bothering you or do you always wrap it like that?

SAHITH THEEGALA: Pretty much always wrap it. I had a pretty big surgery three years ago in college, couldn't play for 11 months between tournaments. So, yeah, just wrap it. It's actually way better than I thought it would be, way better than a lot of people thought. So it's just kind of like I don't want to take it off. I'm probably fine without it now, but I don't even want to, I don't want to entertain that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
116961-1-1044 2022-02-11 02:01:00 GMT

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