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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur

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16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Nack Jicklaus

    Aug 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    The rulemeister strikes again with silly and pointless rules.

  2. Steve R

    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Tilley should step up and DQ himself for an incorrect scorecard

  3. Matt

    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Something wrong here, looking at the score card he didn’t lose the hole, even though he beat him on the hole they are marked as the hold being halved. Either way something is messed up about this and its very unfortunate. The rules need to be changed so include some sort of waive of a penalty for common sense if no one is gaining an advantage. Agree its in the rules that they can’t ride but if someone with a USGA pullover on says yes, then something else should have been done.

  4. NoTanks

    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Dumb, tired rules.

  5. Hawkeye77

    Aug 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Gaining advantage has nothing to do with application of the rule and you should know better than to invoke that.

    It’s match play, whatever hole the other player’s caddy had done it was over so too late to worry about it. So clearly Bhatia was clueless on the rule when it happened the first time and that’s on him. Having a hard time blaming the caddie without knowing his level of experience.

  6. David

    Aug 16, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    i agree Dan. if the other player’s caddie had done the same thing he should have spoken up at the time of the second incident. if i was the other player i would have just let it be and asked for no penalty. that’s what this game is about.

  7. Dan

    Aug 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    If the other competitors caddy did the same thing he should admit it. Very unfair

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (2.21.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Throwback to Bettinardi’s first wedge from 18 years ago.

“Frank” Tiger Woods Putter Cover from MSquare.

Rory’s clubs that have him top of the leaderboard in Mexico.

New from NCW Putters.

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Because beautiful is how I feel.

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Is this blade a winner from Tyson Lamb, WRXers?

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That brass tho. #TbT

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Tiger Sunday Red from Embrace Putters.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Titleist responds to USGA and R&A’s Distance Insights Report

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Titleist has responded to the USGA and R&A’s ‘Distance Insights Report’ saying in-part that the governing bodies are focusing too much on the men’s professional game, and are undervaluing the skill of the game’s elite.

In a written statement titled “A Perspective on the Distance Insights Report”, David Maher, CEO and president of Titleist’s parent company, Acushnet, wrote

“We believe the conclusions drawn in this Report undervalue the skill and athleticism of the game’s very best players and focus far too much on the top of the men’s professional game and project this on golf and golfers as a whole.”

Maher stressed that the current equipment regulations are sufficient in halting any significant increases going forward by the longest hitters in the game, and believes that any changes implemented that could see a local rule put in place, would be a wrong move.

“The existing equipment regulations allow professional and amateur golfers to play by the same unified set of rules, with the same equipment, and on the same courses. We believe that playing by a unified set of rules coalesces our game, is an essential part of its global understanding and appeal, and eliminates the inconsistency and inability that would come from multiple sets of equipment standards.”

The use of technology to bring younger people into the sport and aid the longevity of golfers was also highlighted by Maher who said

“Golf is bringing younger players into the game sooner and keeping older players longer than ever; professional golf is as dynamic and entertaining as it’s ever been; and the game remains a healthy challenge for all players and at all levels.”

Read the full written statement here.

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (2.20.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Look out for this awesome headcover from Dormie Workshop in Paul Casey’s bag this week in Mexico!

New Mizuno drivers.

Studio Select NP2 restoration from Embrace Putters.

Another great looking job from The Golf Garage.

New in the bag for WRX’s Editor-In-Chief.

Bettinardi showcasing its “Copper Candy”.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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