22-Year-Old, Akshay Bhatia reminds himself of “Race My Race”, as he continues to lead the USD 9.2 million Valero Texas Open

In a candid interview, 22-year-old Indian-American golfer Akshay Bhatia shared how he dealt with the demons in his head. The prolific young golfer, winner on PGA Tour, was very open about him having regular conversations with his psychologist. On the third day, his message to himself was – Race My Race – written on his wrist with a thick pen.

After day 3, Akshay Bhatia continued to lead with four shots in the Valero Texas Open on Saturday, playing a round of 68.

Indian-American golfer Akshay Bhatia. Photo courtesy: Akshay Bhatia/Instagram
Indian-American pro golfer Akshay Bhatia. Photo courtesy: Akshay Bhatia/Instagram

The 22-year-old started with a three-shot lead after opening with a 15-foot birdie putt. From getting the lead to losing it, and then getting it back again, the day ebbed and flowed for Bhatia.

“It was stressful, for sure, wasn’t my best stuff,” Bhatia was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “I felt like I struggled a lot off the tee today, golf swing didn’t feel great with any of the longer stuff, but iron play was still phenomenal, wedges were good, made some nice putts.”

“It was good to get the under-par round,” he added.

Bhatia’s play also drew praise from 4X major winner and former world number one, Rory McIlroy. Placed fifth in the ongoing competition, the 34-year-old said, “Akshay is playing really well, but apart from that, no one’s really lighting the world on fire. Just keep grinding away.”

In the past, Bhatia has won the Barracuda Championship, which came last summer. While that wasn’t enough to get him into the Masters, he’ll hope to win the Valero Texas Open and book a place in the 88th Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. The fight for the coveted Green Jacket will start on August 11.