Akshay Bhatia acquitted himself well in his debut at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in 2022. The American carded rounds of 68-67-69-68 to finish T-17th.
Mid-60s were needed on Friday and Saturday to contend, but he played well in the bookending rounds when the wind was up and conditions were trickier.
At 21, Bhatia seems to be getting better by the week. He’s been a pro for four years and has steadily worked his way up from the Korn Ferry Tour to the PGA Tour.
Bhatia had Special Temporary PGA tour status last year and parlayed it into a full membership with his breakthrough win at the Barracuda Championship. It was an opposite-field event, so it’s not like Bhatia was taking down Rahm or Scheffler. Nevertheless, finding the winner’s circle is never easy and he did it at an event with a unique modified Stableford format and at a course that plays at altitude.
Progress isn’t always linear. Bhatia missed his next two cuts after the ‘cuda.
Bhatia went back to the drawing board and seems to be back in good form. He’s on a streak of three made cuts and was T-21st at the no-cut ZOZO Championship. Bhatia finished T-10th at last week’s World Wide Technology Championship.
He’s 30th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach (.426 per round), 30th in SG: Off-the-Tee (.391) and 33rd in SG: Tee-to-Green (.728).
Bhatia uses his youthful, bendy whiplash swing to provide good power given his lanky frame. He’s 51st in driving distance, getting it out there at 306.1 yards a pop.
He’s won an island event before, claiming The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic in 2021 on the KFT.