Barracuda Championship

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Truckee, California, USA

Tahoe Mountain Club

Akshay Bhatia

Quick Quotes

Q. Gaining special temporary membership earlier this year in Puerto Rico. Get your first victory on the PGA TOUR. Describe what this means.

AKSHAY BHATIA: I can't even talk. I mean, I knew that if I got in a position like this I could do it. I've done it at every level. Man, that felt uncomfortable out there. I made a really bad double. I hit some really bad shots. But then I just kind of made some really nice putts on 8 and 9. Then started hitting really good shots coming in. That putt on 18 in regulation was just, man, it's a crazy feeling. I was telling my caddie, like your brain and everything, you can feel all this adrenaline, all this shakiness. It's pretty crazy. Patrick's a really good friend of mine and it was kind of a tough break him being in a divot on 18. His chances are coming.

Q. Began the day three points back and you talked about getting off to that shaky start. How were you able to sort of right the ship and show that resiliency, especially for such a young man?

AKSHAY BHATIA: Yeah, I know I'm a really good ball-striker. I'm top 20 on TOUR this year. It's all about a couple putts falling for me. I've been really solid the last couple weeks inside of six feet. I've managed to not really 3-putt. Which has kind of been my thing when I haven't played well. But I just, I have so much belief in myself and to finally get it done and my caddie, Brian Dilley, we just started working together a couple weeks ago and I knew he was going to get me here.

Q. You did bypass college and you turned pro at a very young age. How much does this victory validate that decision?

AKSHAY BHATIA: I mean, a lot. It's obviously been a really tough road. I've had a lot of up, a lot of down. A lot of good, a lot of bad. But I knew I was going to get here. It was just matter of time. For it to happen this year with special temporary membership and now to get to play all these events and to get it done today was, I can't even describe it.

Q. It's a dream to have a putt to win a golf tournament. Can you describe winning on the PGA TOUR at such a young age?

AKSHAY BHATIA: It's really hard. I mean, the feelings I had today were something like no other. I mean, even when I won on the Korn Ferry Tour last year I did not feel this amount of pressure. I did not feel this amount of antsiness. You tell yourself stories all the time in your head, what could happen, what could not happen. I just really tried to have fun with my caddie today, just have some random conversations about whatever it was. It just paid off.

Q. How do your goals change moving forward?

AKSHAY BHATIA: Well, I'm in the playoffs now, which was a huge goal for me. My goal is to win. Obviously, to get in the top 50 for next season. And, yeah, I think it changes a little bit of the plans. I mean, I'm just excited. I love playing golf, I love playing on the PGA TOUR and it's just a dream come true to have it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
135327-1-1044 2023-07-24 00:31:00 GMT

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