Bhatia, 17, to make pro debut at Sanderson Farms

Mar 21, 2019; Palm Harbor, FL, USA; Akshay Bhatia plays his shot from the 16th tee during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

SEVENTEEN-year-old Akshay Bhatia will make his pro debut at this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss.

A native of Northridge, Calif., who resides in Wake Forest, N.C., Bhatia is currently No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Bhatia, who decided to skip college, made the announcement Monday on Instagram.

“That feeling when the time has officially come,” he posted. “A special thanks to everyone on my team that has helped me get here this week, especially my family for supporting me all the way. Let’s do this!”

Bhatia, who turns 18 on Jan. 31, helped the U.S. team defeat Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup earlier this month.

He made his first PGA Tour appearance as an amateur at the Valspar Championship in March but missed the cut. Bhatia also tied for 42nd at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in April.

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