Alyaa Abdulghany, Sahith Theegala collect Australian Master of the Amateurs titles

Alyaa Abdulghany, Sahith Theegala collect Australian Master of the Amateurs titles

Amateur

Alyaa Abdulghany, Sahith Theegala collect Australian Master of the Amateurs titles

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University of Southern California women have made headlines on seemingly every stage over the past year, from the U.S. Women’s Amateur to the Women’s British Amateur to LPGA Q-School. Across the world from Los Angeles on Jan. 9, Trojan junior Alyaa Abdulghany won the Australian Master of the Amateurs to add to the collection.

Abdulghany clipped Ho Yu An and Cassie Porter on the first hole of a playoff. Abdulghany forced her way into extra holes with a birdie on the 18th hole at Victoria Golf Club. She made another birdie to win the prestigious amateur event, which awards green jackets to its champions.

This is Abdulghany’s third season with USC, but her first time returning as an All-American. Born in Malaysia, she grew up in Newport Beach, California, and was a USA Today High School Player of the Year.

Her big victory came at the SCGA Women’s Amateur over the summer. She was also fourth in a deep Canadian Women’s Amateur field.

USC teammate and New Zealand native Amelia Garvey also competed in Australia, finishing 72 holes at 11 under and tied for 20th with Emily Toy, the Englishwoman who beat her in the final of the Women’s British Amateur at Royal County Down in June.

In the men’s division, Sahith Theegala earned a more decisive victory at 10 under, which was four better than runner-up Jang Hyun Lee. Theegala, a redshirt senior at Pepperdine, set up his week with a bogey-free 6-under 66 that included an eagle on the 18th. His rounds crept steadily upward throughout the rest of the week, but even a closing 75, which included two double-bogeys, could not derail the victory.

Theegala is back in the Pepperdine lineup after sitting out a season with a wrist injury. The Waves climbed to No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings in the fall, and Theegala to No. 14 individually after he won the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in October.

He is also ranked No. 38 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking after a summer that included a runner-up at the Sahalee Players Championship and a SCGA Amateur title, which was just his fourth start back.

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