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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

National Golf Foundation’s nationwide course surveys show human and business impacts Coronavirus has had on golf

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National Golf Foundation

The National Golf Foundation has conducted multiple surveys to study both the human and business impacts that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to have on the game of golf.

Amongst their findings, the NGF found that based on phone surveys for over 1,000 golf facilities, 74% of in-season golf courses remain open despite the current Coronavirus pandemic. (As of March 27)

National Golf Foundation

The organization also revealed that there is a temporary golf course closure in the following states – Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusettes, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

National Golf Foundation

From a golf business standpoint, the NGF asked the ‘Top 100 businesses in golf’ how the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus had affected their business – with 23% saying severely, and 42% saying significantly.

National Golf Foundation

The consumer perspective has also changed dramatically due to the pandemic. The NGF’s findings show that while previously the situation had not had an impact on consumer’s golf equipment purchase decisions, the research now shows that the vast majority are now delaying any golf equipment spending.

Check out all the findings from the NGF’s research here at thengfq.com/covid-19.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.2.20)

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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.

Beautiful looking creation from Tyson Lamb.

Dropping tomorrow from American Flatsticks.

Frosted head with a mirror polished bumper from MackMade Workshop.

Don’t miss out on all the action today over at The Hive.

Pro Am Customs showing off their wedge stamping skills.

Our Ryan Barath’s grip station set up.

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

Check out the betting markets for the potential Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson “The Match” Part 2

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“The Match” Part 2 may have only just been teased by Phil Mickelson this week on his social media account, but that hasn’t stopped bookmakers from pricing up some exciting betting markets for the potential showdown.

BetOnline.ag have chalked up Woods as favorite to exact revenge on Lefty, but the company have also priced up markets on the total curse words used between the two, the number of Tiger twirls we will potentially see, and much more.

Here’s a full list of the betting markets BetOnline.ag have created ahead of the potential Woods-Mickelson “The Match” Part 2:

How many holes will be conceded?

  • Under 2½ holes 4/11
  • Over 2½ holes 2/1

Match Winner

  • Tiger Woods 20/33
  • Phil Mickelson 5/4

Number of 3-putts recorded by Tiger and Phil

  • Under ½ 3-putts 5/12
  • Over ½ 3-putts 33/20

Which pairing will win Tiger vs Phil II?

  • Tiger Woods / Peyton Manning 5/9
  • Tiger Woods / Tom Brady 2/3
  • Phil Mickelson / Peyton Manning 11/10
  • Phil Mickelson / Tom Brady 7/5

Which player will make the most birdies?

  • Tiger Woods 10/13
  • Phil Mickelson 10/11

Will a Play Off be needed to decide the winner?

  • No 1/3
  • Yes 5/2

Will Hole No. 18 be played?

  • Yes 10/13
  • No 10/11

Will there be a Hole In One?

  • No 2/55
  • Yes 17/2

Will Tiger Woods wear a red shirt?

  • Yes 2/5
  • No 17/10
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