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Sahith Theegala, Will Zalatoris to team up at Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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Zalatoris returns from major back surgery while Theegala holds top-five spot in FedExCup standings

    Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM

    NEW ORLEANS – Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris, two ascending young stars on the PGA TOUR, have teamed to play the 2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.

    “Will has bounced back extremely well after missing nearly a full season from major back surgery,” said Worthy. “Meanwhile, Sahith is building off his first TOUR victory last year with three top-10 finishes this season already, ” Worthy added.

    Theegala broke through with his first title at the 2023 Fortinet Championship, then followed up with a second at The Sentry in Hawaii to start the 2024 season. He took fifth in the WM Phoenix Open and tied for sixth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. This week he tied for ninth in THE PLAYERS Championship.

    He is currently ranked 14th in the world and fifth in FedExCup standings.

    Sahith Theegala rolls in 35-footer for birdie at THE PLAYERS

    In his first PGA TOUR tournament in June 2020, he took 14th in the Fortinet Championship and secured his card for the 2021-22 season by finishing sixth in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Last year, he teamed with Justin Suh to tie for 23rd in the Zurich Classic.

    In the 2021-22 season, his first full-time on TOUR, he finished 28th in the TOUR Championship after five top-10s and 11 top-25s during the year.

    Theegala was a three-time All-American at Pepperdine University. His collegiate career was cut short by the 2020 COVID-19 suspension of competition when his team was ranked first in the U.S. In 2020 he was awarded the Haskins Award, the Ben Hogan Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award, only the fifth college player to win all three in the same year.

    Zalatoris burst on the PGA TOUR to earn full-time membership for the 2020-21 season on the strength of three top-10 finishes in the majors – a second in his debut at the Masters, a tie for sixth in the U.S. Open and a tie for eighth in the PGA Championship. In 2022, he did even better in the majors with a tie for sixth in the Masters, a tie for second in the U.S. Open and a second in the PGA Championship when he lost a three-hole playoff.

    He scored a total of eight top-10s and 14 top-25 finishes in only 25 events in his first season on TOUR and ran away with the Arnold Palmer Award for Rookie of the Year honors before he even earned his full-time card.

    He followed that brilliant rookie season up with his first victory in 2022 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship but then was forced to withdraw from the following week’s BMW Championship when his back problem first appeared. Before that happened, however, he had posted three runner-up finishes and nine top-10s, including a tie for fourth in the 2022 Zurich Classic, when he teamed with Davis Riley.

    He was forced to withdraw before the first round of the 2023 Masters when he suffered a herniated disc in his back. He was ranked eighth in the world at the time. He lost the rest of the entire 2023 season and started this year ranked 43rd.

    Now back and healthy on TOUR, he tied for second in The Genesis Invitational and tied for fourth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. He has now climbed to 30th in the world ranking and 13th in FedExCup points. He ranked as high as eighth in the world when he was forced to miss most of 2023 and fell to 54th by the time he returned.

    As an amateur, he won the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. In college, he played for Wake Forest on the Arnold Palmer scholarship and was named first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year in 2017. He made the Walker Cup team that year and contributed to a 19-7 U.S. win over the Europeans by going 3-1 in his matches. That American team included Collin Morikawa, Cameron Champ, Doug Ghim and Maverick McNealy, all of whom compete on the PGA Tour today.

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