Sahith Theegala: Brian Harman makes TPC Sawgrass ‘look easy’ at The Players

Sahith Theegala worked hard to shoot a 5-under 67 Saturday, which included an electrifying eagle at the par-5 16th and a nice birdie at the par-3 17th.

In doing so, he moved up The Players Championship leaderboard and squarely into contention. Theegala now sits at 12-under, five strokes behind Xander Schauffele.

But the former Pepperdine star did not have it as easy as his playing partner Brian Harman, who shot a 64—the lowest round of the week so far.

“Brian shot one of the easiest 8-unders I’ve ever seen in my life, with a really bizarre six on the 9th. He got unlucky there,” Theegala said.

Brian Harman and Sahith Theegala on the 17th green during the third round of the 2024 Players Championship.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“It feels like he never starts the ball off the line. Every iron shot he hits starts at the flag and either cuts a little or draws a little… he’s a pretty aggressive player; he just stripes it. I’ve probably played with him five or six times now, and he’s always been a great putter. When he matches everything up, it’s pretty fun to watch.”

Harman had everything going over his first eight holes, making four birdies. One of those came at the par-3 8th hole, one of the more challenging holes at TPC Sawgrass.

But the former Georgia Bulldog had a little stumble at the 9th.

“[My drive went] way left,” Harman said. “I tried to go righty, but I had a big clump in front, right into the roots. I actually got relief because the only play I had was righty out of the roots, and I chipped out. Really good bogey. Really nice 5-wood from the fairway, two-putt.”

Despite hitting his second shot about six feet, Harman avoided a big number—a key to a good round at TPC Sawgrass.

He then made five more birdies on the back nine, proving that the roots on the 9th did not phase him at all.

“I think it’s a great test of golf,” Harman said of TPC Sawgrass.

Brian Harman, TPC Sawgrass, The Players Championship

Brian Harman lines up a putt on the 16th hole at TPC Sawgrass.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I think if you go out and execute a bunch of golf shots and think your way around this place, you can shoot a low number, or if you don’t, you can shoot a high number.”

The Champion Golfer of the Year picked the course apart, ranking second in strokes approaching the green and first in strokes gained putting.

He rolled it beautifully, channeling what the golf world saw last year at Royal Liverpool.

“Holing putts never really is predictable, but the things I can predict are how well I’ve been working on my stroke, my mechanics, the stuff I have to do in order to hit a bunch of good putts,” Harman said of his putting.

“I’m just trying to start the ball on the line, and I think that’s going to make it go in.”

Plenty of putts went in for Harman, and now he has his eyes set on winning The Players Championship. At 15-under overall, he sits only two back of Schauffele.

With this being one of the most unpredictable venues in the sport, anything can truly happen. But if Harman continues his hot putting and makes it look easy once again, he could very well find himself standing next to Commissioner Jay Monahan with the trophy on Sunday evening.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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