TRUCKEE, Calif. — Akshay Bhatia birdied the ultimate gap in regulation then capitalized in sudden demise when Patrick Rodgers discovered a divot within the fairway to say his first PGA Tour title on the Barracuda Championship on Sunday.
Bhatia, 21, who turned professional at 17, earned full touring standing and a spot within the FedEx Cup qualifiers. He had been taking part in beneath a particular short-term membership since his runner-up end on the Puerto Rico Open in March.
“It is clearly been a really robust street. I’ve had numerous ups, numerous downs. Loads of good, numerous dangerous,” Bhatia stated. “However I knew I used to be going to get right here. It was solely a matter of time. To have that occur this 12 months with a particular short-term membership and now to have the ability to play all of those occasions and do it right this moment, I am unable to even describe it.”
Bhatia transformed a birdie from about 15 toes on the par-4 18th gap at Tahoe Mountain Membership to complete with 40 factors beneath the modified Stableford scoring system that awards 5 factors for the eagle and two for the birdie whereas deducting one level for the bogey and three for the double bogey. The slender southpaw had 9 factors on Sunday.
It was adequate to tie Rodgers, who missed a birdie try from across the identical distance on 18 and scored six within the closing spherical.
Within the playoffs, Rodgers’ tee shot on 18 settled right into a divot and he truncated his method. His pitch was brief and he put two bogey putts. Bhatia left his birdie putt simply brief and tapped for the win.
“I knew if I discovered myself able like this, I may do it. I did it on each degree. Man, it was uncomfortable on the market,” Bhatia stated. “That putt on 18 in regulation was honest, man, it is a loopy feeling. I used to be saying to my caddy, like, your mind and all, you’ll be able to really feel all that adrenaline, all that shaking. It is fairly loopy.”
Rodgers stays winless in 246 begins on the PGA Tour. The 31-year-old former Stanford star did not convert a 54-hole lead for the fifth time.
The match was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and two gamers from that tour completed tied for third. Julien Guerrier scored 20 factors on Sunday to complete with 37 alongside Jens Dantorp, who had 15 factors within the closing spherical.
Ryan Gerard, additionally a particular short-term member, completed fifth with 36 factors. He solely totaled six factors during the last two rounds.
Bhatia largely struggled his first three years after bypassing school to show professional. He gained within the Bahamas on the Korn Ferry Tour in early 2022 however nonetheless hasn’t earned a PGA Tour card.
He’s now eligible for a few of golf’s richest occasions, together with the PGA Championship.
“I am within the playoffs now, which was an enormous objective for me,” he stated. “I imply, I am simply excited. I like taking part in golf, I like taking part in on the PGA Tour and it is only a dream come true to have him.”