PGA Tour Pro Strips Down Twice For Shots At Honda Classic

Akshay Bhatia found the edge of the water twice during the third round at PGA National - and took drastic action each time

Akshay Bhatia goes topless for a shot at the Honda Classic
Akshay Bhatia stripped down twice for shots near water at the Honda Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

No one can ever doubt Akshay Bhatia’s commitment to the cause following the third round of the Honda Classic.

The 21-year-old removed his shirt, shoes and hat not once but twice after finding the edge of the water at PGA National.

Bhatia’s first impromptu strip came on the sixth hole when he found the cusp of the water with his tee shot and opted to play from the unenviable position rather than take a costly penalty shot. It soon proved a wise decision when he recovered for par. His day then got even better when his girlfriend, demonstrating remarkable foresight, handed him a new set of clothes.

Unfortunately for the American, that wouldn’t be his last trip to the water. On the par 3 15th, his overhit tee shot found the swamp beyond the green, and off came the clothes again. Sadly, this time his recovery was not nearly as successful, requiring two shots to find the green, and he ended up having to settle for a double bogey.

Thankfully for Bhatia, the remainder of his round passed without incident, and he even improved matters on the final hole with a birdie to close out a round of 74 for a tie for 58th going into the final round.

While that leaves him well off the pace at 13 shots behind overnight leader Chris Kirk, it’s safe to say that Bhatia is unlikely to forget the day in a hurry. It’s just to be hoped he has yet another set of clothes (or more) available for the final round - or at the very least access to a working washing machine and dryer.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.