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Sahith Theegala of the Pepperdine men’s golf team finished off his sweep of all the National Player of the Year honors today, as he was named the Division I winner of the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award.
Theegala previously received both the Fred Haskins Award and the Ben Hogan Award. Since 1990 — when the Hogan Award was established — Theegala is now just the fifth player to earn all three of the Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus awards in the same year.
The Jack Nicklaus Award was established in 1988 and is named after the golfing legend who was a Big Ten and NCAA champion at Ohio State before going on to one of the greatest professional careers of all time, which includes a record 18 major titles.
Theegala, a fifth-year senior, was the top-ranked player in the nation by both Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin when the season ended abruptly in mid-March. He was named to All-American first teams by both the GCAA/PING and Golfweek. In eight tournaments this past season, he won twice and posted a school-record 69.04 scoring average. He had six top-10s and was in the top-20 at all eight events. Seventeen of his 24 rounds were below-par.
Theegala helped the Waves reach their first-ever #1 regular-season ranking in program history this season. Pepperdine ended the shortened season ranked #1 in the Bushnell/Golfweek coaches poll and by Golfstat.
Theegala set Pepperdine career records for scoring average (70.61) and below-par rounds (74) and tied for the #1 spot in top-20 finishes (36) and wins (four).
He was a three-time All-American (just the third in program history), a three-time All-West Coast Conference honoree and a four-time All-West Region selection. He’s the first Wave to claim any of the various National Player of the Year awards.
Theegala recently turned professional. His pro debut came at the Lone Tree Classic on the Outlaw Tour, where he finished in a tie for third, and in the past two weeks he played in a pair of PGA Tour events, the Travelers Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
The previous three student-athletes to win the Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus awards in the same year were Patrick Rodgers of Stanford (2014), Ryan Moore of UNLV (2005), Bill Haas of Wake Forest (2004) and Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State (2003).
The Jack Nicklaus Award announces a winner for five separate divisions. The other winners were Zach Zediker of Delta State (Division II), Rob Wuethrich of Illinois Wesleyan (Division III), Ben Rebne of Delta State (NAIA) and Jon Hopkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast (junior colleges).