Theegala, Kim Share Lead Midway Through the Fortinet Championship

Sahith Theegala loves playing in California and he showed why again.

The 25-year-old Theegala (pictured), from Chino Hills and Pepperdine, posted an eight-under-par 64 and is tied for the lead with S.H. Lee of South Korea midway through the Fortinet Championship on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.

This is the first event of the inaugural PGA Tour Fall Series.

“I love California events and West Coast swing events,” said Theegala, who finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings last season and missed to Tour Championship by one spot . “I love Poa annua. I love this golf course. This was one of my first sponsor invites I got (in 2020), and one of my best friends lives in Napa. It’s just a great event for all my family and friends to come out to watch.

“It’s still a PGA Tour event with all the perks and these guys are so good. … I understand a lot of guys are not playing with the new structure, which is great. I’m such an addict, it’s tough for me to sit around and do nothing, too. I felt like three weeks was ample break. I was fired up missing East Lake by one spot, so just kind of wanted to play a tournament ASAP.

“I would say I’m just kind of keeping the competitive juices flowing. In my whole life. I really haven’t gone that long without playing a tournament other than because of the injury I had and I never wanted to make months off.”

Theegala, who yet to claim an individual victory on the PGA Tour but teamed with Tom Hoge to win the 2022 QBE Shootout, holed out for an eagle from 48 feet on the fifth hole and added seven birdies in his eight-under-par 64 while posting a 36-hole score of 12-under 232.

Kim, who has won three times as a pro but not yet on the PGA Tour, equaled that by following his opening 65 with a 67 that included four birdies on the back nine after opening at No. 10, and two more birdies coming home.

Sangmoon Bae of South Korea made four birdies on his front nine and three more on the back in a 66 and is one stroke behind in solo third, followed by Eric Cole of Palm Springs, who is one more down in fourth after making seven birdies in another 66, while Kelly Kraft is three shots behind in fifth after holing out from 53 yards for an eagle on the fifth hole in a 69.

Seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valenica and Cal, the two-time defending Fortinet champion, posted a bogey-free 66 and is four down in a tie for sixth with former world No. 1 Justin Thomas, who birdied three of the last five holes for a 67; Cam Davis of Australia, who made three birdies on each nine in a 68; Sam Ryder, who had three birdies on the front and two more coming home in another 68, and Justin Lower, who made four birdies on his back nine in a 69.

Lucas Herbert of Australia, the first-round leader at 63, struggled to a 75 with only one birdie and slid to a tie for 19th.

For complete results and third-round tee times, visit:   

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