Sahith Theegala overcomes “freak injury” to soar into PGA Championship contention

One of the most popular young players in the game finally arrived at this week’s PGA Championship feeling healthy.

Saheeth Segala, playing in his eighth major league game, bruised his ribs the week before the Wells Fargo Championship, which he called a “freak injury.”

“I slipped my rib the Saturday before the Wells Fargo game and wasn’t sure if I would be able to play,” Segala explained.

“I called you right away. [doctor] I underwent three really painful adjustments to get it back in the right position and couldn’t breathe or move between Saturday and Sunday.But I traveled [to Charlotte] On Monday, I learned that I had had something similar before and that it would heal in a week or two. So I thought that if I did active rehabilitation, I would be able to recover quickly. To be honest, by the time I got there on Thursday, I felt a lot better. It’s not 100%, but probably 80-90%. ”

Sahis Segala during the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Segala, who played collegiately at Pepperdine University, explained how he sustained the rib bruise.

It was a painful sound.

“I was just sitting there. I was sitting in the golf cart a little bit aggressively and just felt a little bit of a pinch,” Segala said.

“At first I thought it was a muscle strain, but then the pain started and I thought it was the same rib I slipped on last night. I’ll be fine; I just need to strengthen that part of my back. . We know we have to work on it.”

He went on to explain that he feels 100 percent right now at Valhalla, where he shot a 6-under 65 on the first day. He is currently tied for second place with Tony Finau, three strokes behind Xander Schauffele, who set all sorts of records on Thursday.

Segala looked uncomfortable at times during the round, but quickly shook off the moment. Instead, he persevered and finished the round with three straight birdies.

“I parred hole 4, which might be the easiest hole on the course today. It’s pretty much driveable to the front pin. I just told myself, be patient and hit holes 5 and 6. I got over it and No. 7, 8 and 9 are honestly birdie holes,” Segala said.

Sahis Segala, Tony Finau, PGA Championship

Sahis Segala and Tony Finau fist bump after the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship.
Photo: Ross Kinard/Getty Images

“It was definitely a great way to end it. It definitely turned a good round into a great one.”

His final birdie of the day was a 32-foot putt.

“I learned a lot from Tony and Tyrrell.” [Hatton]” Segala said of his birdie on No. 9.

“Tyrrell was just a few feet to the right of me. Tony was just five feet behind me. So I got a great idea of ​​what the line was, the speed, and all I had to do was match it. It was good because I missed the putt and hoped it would be good on the last, last turn.”

When the final putt fell, Segala was all smiles. He also elicited a fist pump knowing his last three holes produced a great round on a winnable golf course.

He’ll need to stay fit this weekend to stay in contention, but at least he won’t have to worry about the freak injuries that many young players take for granted.

Jack Mirko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through.Be sure to check it out @_PlayingThrough Cover more golf. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko In the same way.