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WiretoWire: Akshay Bhatia prevails in playoff at Valero Texas Open

2 Min Read

Wire to Wire


    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    Akshay Bhatia went to bed Saturday night with a goal: Shoot 4-under on Sunday. He felt that was likely enough to seal victory at the Valero Texas Open and get him to the Masters. As it turns out, it would’ve lost. Denny McCarthy put on a dazzling display of putting on the back nine, coming in with 28 and closing his day with seven consecutive birdies. Both players finished at 20-under in regulation. Despite nearly celebrating too soon Sunday and hurting his left shoulder while pumping his arms on his birdie putt at the 18th, Bhatia recovered to make birdie on the first playoff hole and win the Valero Texas Open, earning a trip to Augusta National. The tee time at the Masters will come 10 years after the 22-year-old Bhatia played in the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals hosted by Augusta National. “He believes in himself more than anyone,” said Bhatia’s fiancé Presleigh Schultz, who also noted that Bhatia had been telling her all year that they’d be going to the Masters. Even this week. “I had no doubt,” she said. There is none now.

    The 2024 Masters has arrived

    The 88th Masters Tournament will begin at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday. The bevy of past champions in the field includes world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (2022), defending champion Jon Rahm, The Genesis Invitational winner Hideki Matsuyama (2021) and Jordan Spieth (2015). Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods is scheduled to give a pre-tournament interview on Tuesday. Woods last completed an official PGA TOUR event at the 2023 Genesis Invitational in February. Though he tied the tournament record for consecutive cuts made at the 2023 Masters, he had to withdraw before the tournament’s conclusion due to plantar fasciitis. Rory McIlroy heads to Augusta in search of his first Masters victory and a completion of the career Grand Slam. Rickie Fowler returns for the first time since 2020, joining Xander Schauffele in pursuit of a first major championship. Ludvig Åberg headlines players making their first start at Augusta.

    Video of the week

    Best on-course dialogue from Justin Thomas and Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay

    Mic check

    "It's hard to win out there as it showed today. My mom's birthday was April 1 and her wish was to go to the Masters.” — Akshay Bhatia after earning a spot in the Masters with his victory at the Valero Texas Open.

    By the numbers

    3 – Jordan Spieth carded his third career ace on the PGA TOUR at TPC San Antonio’s 199-yard 16th hole.

    3 – Steven Fisk birdied three of the final four holes of regulation and defeated Rob Oppenheim in a sudden-death playoff at the Club Car Championship at Landings Golf & Athletic Club.

    Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10

    1Scottie Scheffler
    2Wyndham Clark1,555
    3Hideki Matsuyama1,305
    4Xander Schauffele1,217
    5Sahith Theegala1,103
    6Matthieu Pavon987
    7Byeong Hun An948
    8Ludvig Åberg940
    9Chris Kirk916
    10Stephan Jaeger862

    The Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 highlights and rewards the extraordinary level of play required to earn a spot in the TOP 10 at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season as determined by the FedExCup standings. The competition recognizes and awards the most elite in golf.

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