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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

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.23.20)

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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.

Team Bettinardi at Sherwood CC.

Cool headcovers for a great cause from Sugar Skull.

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A pre-order cover sale for breast cancer awareness month starts tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern. Covers will be available for 48 hours and multiples can be ordered. Blades, mallets and woods will be available for purchase. We are donating $10 from each cover to the @glockfoundation. We will also be donating an extra $250 if 100 covers sell and an extra $250 for every hundred after that. Pre-Orders take approximately 30 business day’s. All blades and mallets will be eligible for a pink special. 10 of each will go out and the random buyers will receive both covers. Limited amounts of copper/pink ball markers and pink towels will also released at 9:00 PM. $10 of each ball marker and $5 from each towel will be donated. After the pre-order ends, we will announce how many have sold and the total donation being made. We will also confirm our donation and it can be confirmed with the @glockfoundation as well! We chose the @glockfoundation as the founder is a breast cancer survivor and personal friend. They have been doing great work over the years with clinical trials, patient support and much more. Thank you! _______________________________ #sugarskullgolf #breastcancerawareness #pink #cancersucks #breastcancerawarenessmonth #october #survivor #nextrelease #golf #golfgear #headcover #uniquedesigns #artist #stitchcount #golfgear #golfwrx

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Drew Harvie showcasing Pine Ridge Golf Club.

MackMade Workshop going gold.

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Gotta love gold.

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Classic Titleists.

Fourteen Wedges.

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These are absolutely beautiful @fourteengolf

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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

The DailyWRX (10/22/2020): A pot of gearhead gold | Slo-mo Tiger goodness

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For Gearheads this is a pot of gold…

He’s back….

I can…..

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Who can relate? Via: @golfersdoingthings

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My back hurts….

He would know…..

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19th Hole

The DailyWRX (10/21/2020): Golf dad jokes | How to make the Match 3 better

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Yes he will….God willing….

Dad Jokes……

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This fucking guy ????

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I have some thoughts…..3 on 1….Phil Gross vs Threesome Net, Stroke Play….Threesome gets to call “no driver” on 3 holes….”no wedges” on 3 holes and no “putter” on 3 holes…Make it interesting. Everyone plays from White tees. LFG

I thought his mask was a beard he grew just to work out….

Yah but it doesn’t make me a bad person….

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What golf ball do you use?

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