California, United States: Akshay Bhatia, the eighth rated player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and top ranked junior amateur player, has signed with Lagardère Sports for management and marketing representation.
Bhatia, previously the number one ranked Rolex junior golfer in the world and the 2018 AJGA Rolex Boys Player of the Year, will remain an amateur player in hopes of representing the United States in the Walker Cup in September. Soon after, he will begin his professional career.
The 17-year-old was born in Northridge, California and currently lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina. His family has a diverse background with ties to India, Hong Kong, Europe and the Middle East. Along with building his playing career and marketing efforts in the US, Bhatia and Lagardère Sports will work together to pursue a variety of career opportunities in various international markets.
“I’m thrilled to take this next step in my development as a player and start preparing for my professional career,” said Bhatia. “I’ve been fortunate to have such a great experience in both junior and amateur golf but becoming a professional has always been my dream and I can’t wait to get started later this year.”
Bhatia made his PGA Tour debut at the Valspar Championship in March and made the cut at the Web.com Tour’s RTJ Golf Trail Championship in April after qualifying for the event.
He has won several tournaments during his amateur career including the 2019 Jones Cup, 2018 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, 2018 Rolex Championship, and 2018 Polo Jr Golf Classic. He also won the Jr PGA Championship in both 2017 and 2018, which made him the only player to win the championship twice.
“We are excited to begin working with Akshay once he turns professional,” said Steve Loy, President of Golf, Lagardère Sports, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. “We will have a great team around him and a plan to help him excel on the course and develop a variety of opportunities for him off it.”
Lagardère Sports is a global leader in golf with a diverse business built around talent representation, event management, and brand and property consulting.
The agency has one of the top client rosters in the industry, highlighted by Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Brandt Snedeker, Davis Love III and Aaron Wise. The group includes three Major championship winners, four PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award winners and two members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The agency also manages several professional golf events around the world, including PGA Tour events the Safeway Open and Desert Classic in the US, and international championships the SMBC Singapore Open and Emirates Australian Open, among others.