Golf

Akshay Bhatia loses ball down the drain, but holds the lead at the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Akshay Bhatia loses ball down the drain, but holds the lead at the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Round 2 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit saw an unusual situation when Akshay Bhatia's ball disappeared down a drain on the 17th hole. While starting on the back nine, Bhatia's drive down the fairway ended up falling down the hole of a drain in the fairway.

The PGA Tour posted a clip of the interaction between Bhatia and a rules official, where Bhatia pointed out the ball. "Fairly certain that's a Callaway at the bottom," Bhatia said in the clip, referencing the type of ball he uses.

Relocating the ball meant the golfer did not need to treat it as a lost ball, which means replaying the previous stroke.

"OK, we don't have to get it," the rule official told Bhatia, to which the 22-year-old golfer quipped, "You sure?"

Bhatia was given a free drop, placing the ball right by the drain to continue on the par-5 hole. The young American golfer ended the hole with par, mishap and all.

Bhatia didn't let the odd incident slow him down, carding five birdies, shooting 67 and holding on to his lead. After his 64 in the first round, Bhatia currently leads the field with a cumulative -13 heading into the final two rounds of the tournament.

If he can hold onto his lead, Bhatia has a chance at earning his third career PGA Tour win since turning pro in 2019. The purse for the Rocket Mortgage Classic is $9,200,000.

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