July 30, 2020
Truckee, California, USA
Tahoe Mountain Club
Q. Sahith, +7 the first round here at the Barracuda. Just some initial thoughts on the opening round.
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, I played pretty solidly. I felt like my iron game was a little bit off. Going to go work on it a little bit here. Just felt like I didn't hit any short, wedge through 8-iron down, didn't really hit any that close. All my birdies were on holes that I drove it by the green or par-5 by the green and chipped it close and one-putted. But overall I'm pleased with that. I didn't really make too many mistakes. I had one on the last hole, but overall I can't complain too much.
Q. How does this course compare in your mind to the others that you've played on TOUR so far?
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, it's definitely different. I think the Stableford format, this course is perfect for it. You usually don't get a course where you're playing three par-4s where you can drive it right by the green. I think that's definitely a little different, and definitely altitude is a little bit of an adjustment. I think even after the first couple practice rounds you're not 100 percent sure, so I think today we got a little better idea of it, with tournament juices flowing and all that.
But yeah, it's a really fun course. It's definitely gettable if you're playing well, but you put it in the wrong spots, it's really tough to get anything up-and-down.
Q. I think we asked you this in the pre-tournament press conference, just the level of play on the PGA TOUR, how does that compare to the collegiate level and what sort of adjustments have you had to make?
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, I've pretty much told guys, you take top two or three guys from college every single year, and those are the guys that are competing week in and week out out here, the best in the world, and there's a reason they're out here. It's definitely different. In college there's certain guys that you can kind of take -- at least they're not really competing for the win, versus every guy out here if they have a good week, they're playing to win. I think that's a little bit different. I think I'm definitely getting a little more comfortable with that, but yeah, every single one of these guys is a stud.
Q. You speak of a plan to win. Did you have a specific goal, a realistic goal that you had starting the week?
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, I wasn't really sure about numbers-wise just because this is the first time playing here, so I was looking at last year's scores, and it just seemed like pretty much if you have four rounds in double digits, that's probably going to get it done, something in the mid-40s, something like that. I haven't looked at the scores so I'm not sure how they were in the morning. I'm not sure it's going to play much easier than it did this morning. The wind started picking up a little bit. The greens definitely got a little bit firmer. But yeah, I didn't really have a specific number in mind, just kind of go with the flow because there's nothing to base it off of.
Q. I know in your first PGA TOUR event as an amateur, you played at the Genesis Invitational, you played with Phil Mickelson and there were tons of people out there watching.
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah.
Q. How different has it been since this return to golf with no spectators? Has that been weird for you?
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, it's been very different. The number one thing for me is not being able to have my family and friends out. I know there's a bunch of people that are part of my team that would love to be out here and supporting me, and that's definitely something I miss. But also just the general crowd. It really makes a tournament. Like I love seeing people out here, and it's totally a different vibe. It almost doesn't feel like -- the sense of urgency isn't as high almost. Obviously it's still playing for the same stuff and stuff like that, but yeah, definitely miss the crowds. I definitely prefer the crowds.
Q. How comfortable are you getting out here with every round that you play on the PGA TOUR?
SAHITH THEEGALA: Yeah, I would say this is the most comfortable I've felt out here, and I'm happy with the progress I've made. I've felt like I was just out there playing my game. I wasn't trying to play some other person's game or trying to play -- put a little more pressure on myself just because I'm on the TOUR. I felt really comfortable today, and I think I'll hopefully stay that way the rest of the week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports