Caddies' Honest Mistake Costs Akshay Bhatia a Win

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Voice over: Michael Robles
Written: By: Brentley Romine

Akshay Bhatia's U.S. Amateur ends after rules violation – and it wasn't right

The 16-year-old golfer from Wake Forest, N.C., deserved to be playing Thursday morning in the Round of 32. Nothing against his first-round opponent, Bradford Tilley, but Bhatia was sent home Wednesday at the U.S. Amateur because of an unfortunate rules violation made by his caddie – and that’s not right.

Bhatia’s caddie, local Chris Darnell, technically broke a rule when he accepted a cart ride from a volunteer after using the restroom as Bhatia played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. Bhatia, who also used the restroom but walked back, went on to make birdie while Tilley made par. However, a rules official informed Bhatia and Darnell of the violation.

Instead of Bhatia winning the hole and taking a 1-up lead, the match remained all square. Tilley went on to win the match in 19 holes.

“What can you do? I’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in this tournament, so I’m not too upset about it,” Bhatia told Golf Channel. “It’s just frustrating because I deserved to win that match. That wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I can’t do anything about it.”

The USGA states that “as a general rule, players and their caddies must walk the course at USGA Championships and at most qualifying rounds.” But there are instances when caddies can receive rides without their players being penalized, usually when a rules official approves it.

Darnell told Golf Channel that the opposing caddie received a ride from a USGA official earlier in the round, so when he saw a man wearing USGA apparel in a cart on the 14th hole, he thought nothing of it.

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Simba3Peat says:

I’d like to believe this rule has been in place for a while but carts are pretty new to the game.This shouldn’t be a thing anymore.

Oliver Haynes says:

You all know why this happened!

J Clouth says:

Of all sports, golf by far has the dumbest rules

Liam - says:

Isn’t this the guy who said he had about 10 hole in ones when he was 12?

OP pro says:

his form is so weird

he110 says:

its cuz hes brown. if hes white they would look the other way. if your minority and sneeze the wrong way u will get 2 stroke penalty.

AussieNaturalist says:

The USGA is notorious for making bad decisions and or oversights, and this is no exception. Here in Victoria, Australia, caddies in amateur events are allowed to ride in and or use motorized vehicles, without a penalty to the player, and I think it may be going nation wide soon, but don't quote me on that.

Jefferson Sims says:

Shit before u leave and piss in the woods like every one else

Jefferson Sims says:

Hes a lefty who cares

Roy Newman says:


S C says:

USGA rules full of Bullshite ! The players and caddies can’t even go toilet ? ??‍♂️

AM 1015 says:

piss off USGA, your the reason golf is dying

Tyler Wilhelm says:

Ok, so gonna get some hate here. I get the rule is really lame, and especially since a volunteer did a nice thing by offering them a ride. How does that affect the outcome of the match or give one player the advantage over the other by getting a ride. It shouldn't be a rule. That being said, he did have 4 more holes and was only All Square after that penalty. So he had a fair shot at winning the match still. Its not like he went 1 down, he was still only tied. Could have gone on to win

David Powell says:

Total 100% BS…….It's one thing if the golfer screws up (even if it's a stupid rule) but a local caddie?? NO

Frank C says:

What a ridiculous rule. Feel for the young lad. Another example of the USGA thinking they are bigger than the game.

Peter D says:

How does your caddie getting a lift in a cart affect anything? Dumb rules like this are bad for the game.

tom dick says:

rules are rules….dont be a liberal and expect everything for free.

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