17-year-old junior Akshay Bhatia misses cut in respectable Tour debut
Matt Sullivan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

In his first start on the PGA Tour, Akshay Bhatia carded 74-72 over two rounds at the Valspar Championship, coming up short in qualifying for the weekend.

The 17-year-old, who accepted a sponsor's invite into the tournament, is the No. 1 ranked junior golfer in the world and sits eighth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

"The first day I was definitely nervous, the first seven, eight holes I was not comfortable at all," Bhatia said after Friday's round, according to Golf Channel's Will Gray. "Throughout the day I just wasn't comfortable. I'm just not used to the environment. Today I woke up, I didn't have any expectations, I just knew ... what I needed to do."

Bhatia birdied his opening hole both days, but only hit 50 percent of his fairways through 36 holes, which proved to be his downfall.

"The biggest thing I learned is that I need to drive it better," he added. "I hit it pretty well this week and I putted decently, but when you're playing from the rough or trees it's not very fun, and that's the hardest thing, especially out here."

Bhatia finished at 4-over and outside the top 90 for the event ahead of notables Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, among other PGA Tour winners.

The homeschooler plans to skip playing college golf and turn professional in January 2020 after his 18th birthday.

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17-year-old junior Akshay Bhatia misses cut in respectable Tour debut
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