Theegala, a junior on the Pepperdine men's golf team, tells us about his
outstanding 16-stroke win at the Waves Challenge this past week and what this
personal and team victory means going into the rest of the spring season:
Q: How did you feel going into the first home tournament of the season?
A: It was good to get back into the competition because I haven't played a full tournament in about three months. I was excited to be out there myself and with my team. We knew were the best team going in so we all had a lot of energy. It was also the first tournament with our new assistant coach and we got a win.
Q: How is your new assistant coach, Blaine Woodruff?
A: He's really cool. He's really young so he's a good combination as a friend but also a good serious coach.
Q: What were you expecting going in?
A: As a team, we wanted a win. Last semester, we tried to emphasize the game more than the win but going into this tournament we were really confident in getting the win.
Q: You ended up having numerous difficulties before and during the tournament, including losing your keys, misplacing your putter and playing with two drivers. How did you overcome these challenges and stay focused?
A: I was definitely panicking before the round started but once the tournament I got into my tournament mindset and was focused. I tried to put it all in the back of my mind and stay in the zone. It also helped that it was one of our home courses. Having two drivers was intentional, though, because I use each of them for different circumstances.
Q: How did you feel about your 16-stroke win?
A: It felt surreal. I could never even imagine winning by five, let alone 16. It didn't set in until a couple days later. I played really well, and it was just one of those weeks where I felt really good. It also helped that it was our home course, I think that gave me some advantage. I also tried not to focus on my lead while I was playing, I just tried to focus on my own game.
Q: How do these personal and team wins set your team up for the rest of the spring season?
A: We're really pumped. We felt so good after the tournament that we just wanted to keep going and keep playing right after. We're under the radar in the golf world. In our next tournament we're playing some really good teams and we're excited to try to beat them. I think we're going to have a really good season.
Q: What can we expect from the golf team throughout the rest of the season?
A: I think we're going to win a lot this semester. This is only our second win since I've been here, but I think we'll pull out a couple more wins this semester. A lot of the guys are playing the best golf they've ever played, and confidence levels are up, so I think everything is coming together really well.
Q: Are the NCAA Championships in view?
A: I think we have a good shot. Last year we made Nationals and made the top 15 but didn't make top eight. Our goal this year is making match play, which is top eight. It will be hard, but we're all really excited.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the rest of the season?
A: Once I start a tournament I don't think about my own game I just think about how to help the team. Although, I would like to have another personal win this semester. If I keep going at the rate I'm at right now I have a chance to break the lowest single-season scoring average in Pepperdine history so that would be pretty amazing to break.