Akshay Bhatia wins first PGA title


Akshay Bhatia made US$ 640,000 for his win at the Barracuda Championship

21-year-old Indian American phenom Akshay Bhatia, who had one runner up finish on the PGA Tour till last week, finally broke through and won the $3.8 million Barracuda Championship in California to fulfil the promise he had shown as an amateur and perhaps justify his decision to turn pro in 2019  right after high school and forego playing college golf. 

Bhatia made a clutch eight-foot putt for birdie on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff and then won the first playoff hole with a regulation par. 

Bhatia’s victory earns him full status on the PGA Tour and a coveted spot in the season ending and super lucrative FedExCup Playoffs. It also opens the door to some of the most coveted events in golf, including THE PLAYERS Championship and the PGA Championship.

It’s a welcome reward for Bhatia, who has had his share of struggles on the way to his first tour win. Despite winning in the Bahamas on the Korn Ferry Tour at the beginning of 2022, he narrowly missed earning a PGA TOUR card. He has also had to deal with an injury and had been playing under special temporary membership since his runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open back in March.

“It’s obviously been a really tough road. I’ve had a lot of up, a lot of down. A lot of good, a lot of bad,” Bhatia said. “But I knew I was going to get here. It was just a matter of time. For it to happen this year with special temporary membership and now to get to play all these events and to get it done today was, I can’t even describe it.”

The Barracuda Championship is played in a modified stableford format, with points awarded as follows:

+8 – Double Eagle

+5 – Eagle

+2 – Birdie 

0 – Par

-1 – Bogey

-2 – Double bogey or worse

Bhatia made 40 points over the four rounds, roughly translating to 20 under par. 



Photo – PGA Tour

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