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By Joel Beall
The end of one era and the beginning of another continues for Akshay Bhatia, who announced overnight that he has signed an endorsement deal with Callaway.
Bhatia, 17, is making his professional debut this week at the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship, in the field via a sponsor’s exemption. Fifth in the World Amateur rankings, Bhatia won five junior and amateur events in the past year, highlighted by a victory at the Jones Cup Invitational. He made his first start in a PGA Tour event earlier this season at the Valspar Championship and was able to Monday qualify, and make the cut, at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship.
Two weeks ago, Bhatia was the first golfer still in high school to compete for the United States in Walker Cup, scoring two points for the Americans in their victory over Great Britain & Ireland at Royal Liverpool.
According to Callaway, the transition will begin this week in Mississippi, with Bhatia using an Epic Flash driver and Callaway bag at the Country Club of Jackson.
“Working with the tour team and learning about all of the technology that goes into their products has been a lot of fun for me, and the equipment gives me a lot of confidence as I start my professional career,” Bhatia said.
“Akshay is one of the most prolific amateurs the golf world has seen in a long time, and we’re thrilled to have him join our professional tour staff,” said Callaway Golf’s Tim Reed. “He has all the tools to compete at a high level, he’s mature beyond his years, and we’re confident that he is going to have a lot of success using our equipment.”