Pepperdine may be without its top player for the season.
The school’s website revealed Wednesday that senior Sahith Theegala, a two-time All-American, will sit out the fall portion of the 2018-19 season and is likely to redshirt for the entire campaign due to a wrist injury.
Theegala, who finished the 2017-18 season ranked 25th by Golfweek, has been dealing with the injury for much of 2018 and hasn’t played much golf of late, per Pepperdinewaves.com.
“It’s a bummer,” said Theegala, per Pepperdinewaves.com. “There’s no concrete timetable to return with this injury. I wanted to have a good senior season and turn pro, but that’s going to wait a year. But in the long term, it’s going to give myself a chance to play with a healthy body, and add to my education.”
Theegala, who would return as a fifth-year senior for the 2019-20 season if he goes through with redshirting, burst onto the scene with outrageous putting performances at the 2016 U.S. Amateur that allowed him to reach the quarterfinals. The following year, Theegala qualified for the Genesis Open and impressed in his PGA Tour debut with a T-49 showing. For good measure, he qualified for the U.S. Open later that year as well.
The Chino Hills, Calif., product is known for prospering with a unique and fearless game and his junior season included a 16-shot victory. He did enough to be on the U.S. Arnold Palmer Cup team this summer, playing through the injury to take part. His 70.95 career scoring average at Pepperdine is currently the best in program history.
Theegala will be assessed again in November to determine the next step in his recovery.
“Getting Sahith healthy is number one, and how that affects the team is secondary,” said head coach Michael Beard. “After looking at the pros and cons, it made the most sense to Sahith to take a year to get healthy, and build back up for hopefully a great senior year and an easier transition to professional golf.”
The Waves are currently a lofty No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings despite playing without Theegala in their season opener.
That’s good news, as it looks like life without Theegala in the lineup will continue for some time.