Akshay Bhatia explains why he rode a U-Haul to a PGA Tour event

Akshay Bhatia knows how to find a bargain.

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Akshay Bhatia is living his dream.

The 21-year-old just had his best career result on the PGA Tour — a second-place finish at the Puerto Rico Open — which earned him enough non-member points to accept temporary PGA Tour membership. Now Bhatia needs to continue his momentum to earn enough points to finish 125th on the FedEx Cup points list to ensure he retains his card next season. Next year the top 70 will be the top 70. Needless to say it’s a huge achievement for such a young player.

But despite making more than $550,000 this season alone, Bhatia isn’t far from days when he wasn’t as fit.

On this week’s episode of Subpar, Bhatia entertained hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz with a story about how he saved money on a rental car at the 2022 Wichita Open on the Korn Ferry Tour by renting a U-Haul instead.

“We were in Wichita, Kansas. And I ended up changing my flight to a day later, and Avis kind of waived the underage fee because I was 20 at the time,” he said. “So I go to the counter and they say, ‘Yeah, we can’t give you a car, you have to be 21. And my girlfriend and I are 20 at the time.’”

Akshay Bhatia waits to tee off at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classi with his girlfriend Presleigh Schultz.

Teenage phenom Akshay Bhatia, 19, becomes the third youngest player to win the Korn Ferry Tour


Josh Berhow

Bhatia called his agent, who arranged a rental with another company, but according to Bhatia, it would cost $1,000 to rent the car for the week.

“I literally drove five minutes from the golf course to our inn,” said Bhatia. “I thought I’m not going to do that.”

Bhatia said his girlfriend suggested buying a vehicle from U-Haul, which offers car rentals for about $20 a day.

“So we call them and they say we don’t have the F-150, but we have a U-Haul truck,” Bhatia said. He secured the rent by saying he was moving.

“So we had that for a few days, then luckily I got a Lexus for the week, which was super awesome,” he said. “It makes it easier now that I’m 21, so I guess I don’t have to deal with that.”

Bhatia said his eventual arrival on the course was an amusing moment for his caddy.

“I called my caddy and said, ‘Yeah, we’ll be there in a few minutes, just listen, we got a truck this week,'” he said. “He saw us pull up in the U-Haul and it was just hilarious.”

For more from Bhatia, including the best players he’s watched and why mental focus is so important on tour, see the full interview below.


Golf.com photographer

As a four-year-old member of Columbia’s first class of female collegiate golfers, Jessica can outperform anyone on the pole top. She can also overtake them in the office, where she is primarily responsible for producing print and online features and overseeing large special projects such as the first Style issue of GOLF, which was released in February 2018. Her original interview series, A Round With, debuted in November 2015 and has appeared in both magazine and video form on GOLF.com.

https://golf.com/news/akshay-bhatia-drove-u-haul-pga-tour/ Akshay Bhatia explains why he rode a U-Haul to a PGA Tour event

Ian Walker

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