The Full Swing documentary from Netflix takes a turn to examine what it’s like to be a rookie on the PGA Tour. Mito Pereira and Sahith Theegala are put in the spotlight for this episode as we drill down on some of their early heartbreaks. We continue our series of reviews and podcast discussions on the season here.

For more in-depth discussion, Andy Johnson, Joseph LaMagna, and Brendan Porath are recapping and reviewing each episode in podcast form, sharing insights on what they learned about the tours and their stars, what they found amusing, what worked, and what flopped. You can subscribe to the “Full Swing Thoughts” podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all other major podcast platforms.

Episode 7 Synopsis:

The penultimate episode of season one explores the experience of a rookie year on the PGA Tour. The two main characters are Mito Pereira and Sahith Theegala, who both achieved notoriety and success in their first full years in the big leagues. The primary settings are Pereira’s contention and collapse at the PGA Championship, and Theegala bursting on the scene at the Phoenix Open.

In that way, the episode feels chronologically out of place in the season. It seems we should have been exposed to the concept of a rookie year and these early-season heartbreaks before episode seven in the season. Theegala’s close call and collapse in Hartford is not included in the episode. The effort to create some sort of rookie bond feels a little forced, as they ask each player to repeatedly comment on the other.

The footage of Pereira with the other Latin players adds a lot to the show’s portrayal of him. We understand a bit more about how close he is with Joaquin Niemann, and their history together coming up in Chile both as golfers, and Piscola consumers. But we’re left wanting in other parts, especially as it relates to Mito taking a break from the game for three years.

The home videos of Theegala coming up in Southern California add a lot of color, as does the powerful footage with his parents getting emotional after nearly winning in Phoenix. The framing of Pereira as a hyped prospect and Theegala as a less-heralded youngster with minimal expectations is odd and not entirely accurate.

Like episode six with Collin Morikawa and Tony Finau, this is an episode that demonstrates some of the diversity on Tour and the top of the pro game. The episode is strong in some spots adding to our understanding of these two young players, but the timing in the season is odd and the rookie storyline seems forced in moments.

Favorite Quote(s):

“Sorry to make you wait around.” Mito Pereira tells his friends who stood in anguish watching him boot away the PGA Championship with that disastrous 72nd hole. This is some of the most powerful footage of the season, with cameras there for a historic collapse. The show picked up some good audio of Niemann, Mito’s wife, Abe Ancer, and others as the final hole is drawn out during this episode.

Favorite Moment:

Theegala talking about “adulting” now that’s he a rookie and living on his own out of his parents house, then using a cardboard box as a laundry basket.

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