Theegala finishes sixth, comes close to 50th in world rankings

California (US), Sep 19 (IANS) Indian-American golf star Sahith Theegala, whose family is originally from Andhra, shot 2-under 70 after being 3-over in the first seven holes of the Fortinet Championship.

He made a fine rally on the back nine and finished the week at 11-under. He finish T-6 in the opening event.

It will take him to 51st position in the official world golf rankings, up from 55th the week before.

Defending champion, Max Homa retained the Fortinet Championship as he chipped in from 33 feet. His rival, Danny Willett, who led by one-shot coming to the 18th hole, three-putted from inside four feet on the 18th and lost by one.

Willett had a one-shot lead coming into the 18th and his bogey on the par-5 18th coupled with Homa’s chip-in for birdie meant a two-shot swing that gave Homa a great start to the new season.

Theegala, who made the Tour Championship in his rookie year, had a disappointing start with bogeys on third and fourth and yet another bogey on seventh to go 3-over. Birdies on eighth and ninth helped him cover some ground, but he dropped another bogey on 11th. Then came a fine patch with birdies on 14th, 16th and 18th. The putt on 14th was from 33 feet and on the 18th he holed a 24-footer.

Homa closed with a 4-under 66 for a total of 16-under 272 and now heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup with three wins in the past 12 months. Willett shot 69 and Taylor Montgomery was alone in third at 13 under after a closing 64.

Justin Lower held a one-stroke lead going into the final day while chasing his first title after years of struggles just to secure his TOUR card. The 33-year-old American wound up tied for fourth with Byeong Hun An at 12 under after shooting a 1-over 73.

The 34-year-old Willett birdied three holes on the front nine to take a three-stroke lead. A bogey on Par-5 ninth when he missed a five-footer for par and then then a bogey on with a three-putt from inside four feet on 18th ruined his week.

–IANS

cs/inj

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