17-year-old Bhatia to make pro debut at Sanderson Farms Championship
Jan Kruger/R&A / R & A / Getty

Akshay Bhatia couldn't wait to turn pro.

The 17-year-old phenom will compete as a professional for this week's Sanderson Farms Championship, forgoing his amateur status a week earlier than expected.

The No. 5-ranked amateur in the world and top junior player announced in July that next week's Safeway Open would be his first professional start. However, Bhatia, who was born in 2002, received and accepted a sponsor's invite into the tournament in Jackson, Mississippi, to begin his journey as a pro.

Bhatia's decision confirms his plans of bypassing college golf to pursue a career on the PGA Tour as a teenager.

Sanderson Farms won't be his first event on the PGA Tour. He played in the 2019 Valspar Championship as an amateur and shot 74-72 to miss the cut.

The Wake Forest, North Carolina, resident recently won the Walker Cup as a member of the United States team. He became the youngest player ever to represent the USA in the amateur version of the Ryder Cup.

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17-year-old Bhatia to make pro debut at Sanderson Farms Championship
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