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Akshay Bhatia Surges with 63, Takes 3-Stroke Lead in PGA Texas Open



Akshay Bhatia s impressive 63 puts him ahead by three strokes

The 22-year-old American Akshay Bhatia aced it at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free round, matching his best PGA round ever and scoring his personal best for the first 18 holes in any tourney.

“Man, I played solid today,” Bhatia said. “This is my third time here, so I kinda know the course better now. Just had a good day overall.”

Justin Lower and Brendon Todd tied for second with scores of 66, along with Max Homa, Denny McCarthy, Austin Eckroat, and Tyson Alexander all shooting 68.

Clark, who’s leading in the US Open, didn’t hold back, criticizing the late golf sessions.


Rory McIlroy, getting ready for the Masters next week, started with a 69.

Akshay Bhatia, who has a mix of good finishes and missed cuts this season. He won his first PGA title last July at the Barracuda Championship by beating Patrick Rodgers in a playoff. Last week, he achieved his best finish this season, coming in 11th in Houston.

 Akshay Bhatia s impressive 63 puts him ahead by three strokes
Akshay Bhatia’s impressive 63 victory

“In the past couple of weeks, I started working with Ryan, my psychologist, and it’s paying off. It’s changing how I approach each day and my goals,” Bhatia said.

Bhatia, ranked 87th in the world, made a six-foot birdie putt at the second hole, then got back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth. He closed the front nine with a 16-foot birdie putt.

He birdied the 12th from just outside six feet, then added a tap-in birdie at the 14th, and a 15-foot birdie putt at the 15th to lead at 7-under.


Bhatia’s approach shot at 17 was inches from the hole, setting up an easy birdie. He then got another tap-in birdie at the 18th, blasting out of a bunker.

“I knew the last two holes were tough. If I could just get a par at 15 and maybe birdie 18, it would work out,” Bhatia said. “Thankfully, I birdied 15 and got a good break at 18.”

Lower finished his round with a 28-foot birdie putt, while Todd birdied four of his last five holes, grabbing a share of second with a birdie putt from just inside 46 feet at the ninth.

McIlroy Cheers Strong Start with No Bogeys

McIlroy, eyeing a career grand slam at the Masters, felt optimistic about his game following a bogey-free round. “I thought I played pretty well, hit some nice shots, played pretty consistently,” McIlroy remarked. “It’s the first round I’ve had without a bogey in quite a while. My game over the last couple of months has been quite volatile, so to go out there and play a solid round of golf in pretty tricky conditions, pretty happy with it.” Meanwhile, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth made waves by acing the 199-yard, par-3 16th hole, marking his fourth hole-in-one on tour and his first since 2021 at Bay Hill.