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Akshay Bhatia injures shoulder before prevailing in playoff at Valero Texas Open

2 Min Read



    Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM

    Akshay Bhatia threw out his shoulder while fist-pumping a birdie putt to force a playoff at the Valero Texas Open – to the level where he asked for treatment on the first playoff hole.

    It led to his second PGA TOUR title, as Bhatia dramatically outlasted a hard-charging Denny McCarthy in a playoff.

    "This shoulder I've had some issues with and yeah, when I made that putt and I kind of raised my arm, it kind of came out of socket and went back in," Bhatia said afterward. "Thankfully he was still around and taped it up good and it felt good hitting that wedge shot. I appreciate (physio) Aki (Tajima) very much."

    Akshay Bhatia forces playoff with birdie on No. 18 at Valero

    After hitting his second shot on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th at TPC San Antonio, Bhatia took a timeout of sorts to be taped up by physiotherapist Aki Tajima, taking roughly three minutes to the side of the fairway. He emerged and wedged to 6 feet for birdie, which was enough for the win as McCarthy chunked his third shot into a creek short of the green, took a penalty drop and could not hole out for par. (Bhatia had three putts for the win after McCarthy missed his bogey putt; Bhatia made his birdie.)

    "So when I made the putt in regulation, I raised my arm and I put it in kind of an uncomfortable spot, kind of dislocated, it came back in. It's happened before," Bhatia said in his winner's press conference. "I had this happen from pickleball and then had it happen in Bermuda, but it's just going to feel a little loose. My physio, he'll take care of me. I'm not too, too concerned, but it's definitely a little uncomfortable right now."

    Akshay Bhatia wins in dramatic fashion at Valero

    The scene drew a comparison to Scottie Scheffler’s mid-round neck treatment during the second round of last month’s PLAYERS Championship, where the defending champ pulled off his second straight victory at TPC Sawgrass. Bhatia’s assistance came in perhaps more dramatic fashion, shortly after he drained a must-make 12-footer on the 72nd hole following McCarthy’s seven straight birdies to conclude regulation.

    “Akshay’s shoulder came out on the fist pump on the 72nd hole, and that is why he asked for treatment,” said reporter Damon Hack on the NBC telecast.

    As he has so often in his young career, Bhatia overcame some adversity once again. And he earned the final Masters invitation in the process.

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