Pepperdine All-American Sahith Theegala Receives Third Sponsor Exemption for 2022 WM Phoenix Open

Tournament Chairman Dr. Michael Golding announced today three-time Pepperdine All-American and one of the PGA TOUR’s rising stars Sahith Theegala will receive the third of five available sponsor exemptions for the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, which is scheduled to be played February 7-13 at TPC Scottsdale. Theegala is off to a hot start in the 2021-2022 wrap-around season, posting one Top-10 finish (Sanderson Farms Championship) and two Top-25 finishes in nine events and is currently ranked 83rd in the FedExCup standings.  He finished T-25 at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.

The first two 2022 WM Phoenix Open sponsor exemptions went to Arizona State University standout Preston Summerhays and former PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner. The remaining two invites will be announced leading up to the tournament.

“Sahith is one of the brightest young stars on the PGA TOUR and fans who don’t know about him just yet will learn pretty soon how talented he is,” Golding said. “When you watch him play, you can really see his tremendous love for the game, we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for him as he dives into a career on the PGA TOUR.”

Theegala had an extremely successful college career, winning four times during his tenure on his way to three-time NCAA All-American honors at Pepperdine. In 2020, Theegala swept Player-of-the-Year honors, taking home the Haskins Award, the Ben Hogan Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award – becoming only the fifth player in history to take home all three awards in the same year. Theegala – who secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2021-2022 season with consecutive Top-10 finishes in the Korn Ferry Tour finals, reached as high as No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings before turning professional in 2000.

A field of 132 players will vie for the $8.2 million purse, the $1,476,000 first-place check, and 500 FedExCup points.  PGA TOUR members have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, to commit to play in the WM Phoenix Open. Eligible players are assigned one of 34 PGA TOUR priority ranking categories based on their past performance on TOUR. The field will continue to change as players with higher priority rankings commit to play in the Open.

The 2022 WM Phoenix Open will take place Feb. 7-13 at TPC Scottsdale. “The People’s Open” has been named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four times in the past seven years (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) to acknowledge the tournament’s legendary status as one the most unique events in golf. The 2022 edition will mark the 87th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 13th with WM as title sponsor.

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 280 “life” members who have helped the tournament eclipse $165 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932 (through the 2021 tournament).  For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, visit

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