Indian American Bhatia, third youngest ever to win on Korn Ferry Tour

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Akshay Bhatia

Akshay Bhatia

Akshay Bhatia, 19-year-old Indian origin phenom from California, became just the third teenager to win on the Korn Ferry Tour when he claimed the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on his tour debut. Bhatia shot 69-72-68-65 for a 14-under 274 total. On the final hole, he knocked his pitching wedge from 156 yards to just a foot from the cup to seal a three-shot win. 

“I reflected back on (2021) U.S. Open (qualifying),” Bhatia told Korn Ferry media,. “I hit a pitching wedge to like 3 feet, 4 feet, so I was just trying to do the same thing. For it to hit the flag and have a tap-in was awesome. Golf is crazy.”

Bhatia’s victory gives  him a strong start to earn a PGA Tour card for the 2022-2023 season since the top 20 ranked players from the Korn Ferry tour automatically earn PGA Tour cards and puts him in some pretty elite company. The two previous teenagers to win on Tour were Jason Day in 2007 & Sungjae Im in 2018. Day, of course, is a Major champion while Im was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2018-19 and has two PGA Tour wins to his credit. 

Bhatia was the 2018 Rolex US Junior Player of the Year and has earned mini tour wins on the G Pro Tour in June 2021, two on the Swing Thought Tour – in Georgia in February 2021, and in South Carolina in August 2020 and the most recent being his title on the Florida Elite Tour last month.

He has also received five invitations on the PGA TOUR, making three cuts, including at the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines. His best finish was ninth at the US$ 6.6mn Safeway Open in Sep. 2020. 

 

Bhatia was the 2018 Rolex US Junior Player of the Year and has earned mini tour wins on the G Pro Tour in June 2021, two on the Swing Thought Tour – in Georgia in February 2021, and in South Carolina in August 2020 and the most recent being his title on the Florida Elite Tour last month.

He has also received five invitations on the PGA TOUR, making three cuts, including at the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines. His best finish was ninth at the US$ 6.6mn Safeway Open in Sep. 2020. 


Credits:-
Photo – PGA Tour


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