Rolex Junior Player of the Year | Akshay Bhatia


Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina

Class of 2020

The 37th distinct male Rolex Junior Player of the Year in the AJGA’s 40-year history, Bhatia had a standout season in 2018. The 16-year-old finished No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings after three wins in national junior golf, beginning with April’s Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club. In 10 events, Bhatia never finished outside the top 15 including his fifth AJGA title at the Polo Golf Junior Classic by 10 strokes. Shortly after, he finished runner-up at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, a match that came down to the 36th hole, before successfully defending his title at the Boys Junior PGA Championship with a 40-foot chip for eagle. The three-time Rolex Junior All-American ended his season tied for second at The Junior PLAYERS Championship and competed in the U.S. Amateur and Junior Ryder Cup. In October, he won Team USA’s third silver medal of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina as an individual and paired up with fellow Rolex Junior All-America first teamer Lucy Li to earn a silver medal in the mixed team stroke play event for the United States.

“I’m so humbled and honored to win such a prestigious award,” Bhatia said. “I’m in the history of the AJGA forever and it’s awesome to see my name alongside Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and other top alumni. To see what they’ve done in their careers, it shows I am on the right track to chase my dreams.”


Bhatia Season Summary

Rank Event R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
T2 The Junior PLAYERS Championship 68 70 70   208
1 2018 Boys Junior PGA Championship 68 76 65 68 277
2 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship 66 72     138
1 Polo Golf Junior Classic 66 64 66 71 267
T13 2018 Western Junior Championship 69 70     139
T2 2018 Scott Robertson Memorial 32 72     104
1 2018 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club 68 70 76   214
T11 AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods 73 69 73   215
3 2017 Jones Cup Junior Invitational 68 69 71   208
15 Rolex Tournament of Champions 72 71 69 76 288
  • Silver medals, Youth Olympics boys individual stroke play & mixed team stroke play
  • 2018 Junior Ryder Cup (United States)