Young Star Akshay Bhatia Dominates at Texas Open, Leads by Three Strokes


The game’s rising star, Akshay Bhatia, played a 9-under 63 on Thursday at TPC San Antonio, opening up a three-stroke lead on the scorecard with nine birdies and no bogeys. Bhatia began the day on the harder front nine, although he made three birdies in his first four holes. At the bend, he added another, and then entered the inner part, where more of the same lay ahead. 

Tap-in birdies on Nos. 14 and 17 sandwiched a long distance connection on the 15th. Bhatia went to the par-5 18th with a chance to tie the lowest round of his career, and he would do just that as one last tap-in birdie resulted in a back-nine 31 and a bogey-free 63. Rory McIlroy is within arm’s reach after 18 holes thanks to a bogey-free 69.

Bhatia is ready to get to bed because it has been a long and hot day. It’s simply wonderful to have a nice day today; he’s not trying to win the golf tournament; instead, he’s just trying to do the things that he and his mental coach have been talking about. Bhatia has the inside track to get the final invitation for the first major competition of the season. 

Since there is only one seat left in the Masters field. With nine birdies against zero missed putts, the former PGA Tour winner led the field by three strokes on Thursday. 

Following two consecutive excellent performances at the Houston Open and the Valspar Championship, Bhatia has carried this into more of the same in San Antonio. Bhatia is set to leave for Augusta, where he has historically flourished as a left-hander, if he can manage to carry on with this for the next three days.

Akshay Bhatia Leads with Stellar 9-Under Round

The game’s rising star, Akshay Bhatia, played a 9-under 63 on Thursday at TPC San Antonio, opening up a three-stroke lead on the scorecard with nine birdies and no bogeys.

Three birdies in his final four holes led Max Homa to record one of the best rounds of the day. Homa refused to take the week off to rehearse at home, preferring to play through the few doubts he had going into this week mostly related to his driving. 

Rather than taking the customary week off following the Open, the six-time PGA Tour winner elected to play the week before each of the four major events.

Jordan Spieth’s first few months of the PGA Tour season have been pretty odd, to say the least (shocker). With everything from a disqualification to a podium finish on his résumé, Spieth arrived in Texas hoping to find a string of consistency. 

That didn’t happen in Round 1. The 2021 champion offset five bogeys and a double bogey with four birdies and a hole-in-one for a ho-hum 1-over 73. Spieth arrived at the par-3 16th 4 over on his round and walked off the green at 2 over thanks to his fourth career ace on the PGA Tour.

There are still a number of players at or around even par in the center of matters, with winds predicted to persist. Ludvig Åberg, at 40-1, has to be the most appealing possibility. The young Swede, who was one of the betting favorites coming into the week, led the field in strokes gained with the ball on Thursday, but he was unable to capitalize on his short game as he shot an even-par 72.

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