EIGHT Back-Nine Birdies By Denny McCarthy & An Out-Of-Socket Shoulder Didn’t Stop Akshay Bhatia From Winning The Valero Texas Open

birdie putt

Out of pocket. Out of socket. Out of rear end. Out of mind. Out of this world.

Words almost fail to describe the March Madness in April that was the final-round showdown between 54-hole leader Akshay Bhatia and hard-charging Denny McCarthy at the Valero Texas Open on Sunday at TPC San Antonio. If this was a precursor to the drama we can expect next week at The Masters, holy f*ck is Augusta about to be lit. Regardless, what an appetizer for Jon Rahm’s Champions Dinner!

McCarthy has never won on the PGA Tour, but he’s been the most consistent putter the last several years running. The man is a machine on the greens with that flat stick. That makes up for the fact that he isn’t a long hitter like many of the world’s elite players, allowing him to pop up in contention every now and again.

But what McCarthy just did? On an extremely tough course? Eight birdies on the last nine holes to will his way into a playoff, including seven in a row to finish!? WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. GOING. ON!? Here’s a sampler of how in-the-zone unconscious McCarthy was down the stretch.

For the love of all that is holy!! Look at this beautiful scorecard:

Quick aside: Thank you, Golf Channel, for posting some good highlights that are actually playable via embed format. Official PGA Tour X handler, take notes. Reader, you will inevitably be sent to an external window as this article goes on, unless I’m gravely mistaken. Apologies in advance.

ANYWAY. In the midst of McCarthy’s spectacular surge, Bhatia had a more than respectable five-under round of 67 in regulation, and was pulling away from the rest of the field. However, thanks to McCarthy’s heater of all heaters, he needed to can a birdie on the 72nd hole just to force a sudden death duel.

AND. And, get this: Young gun got so fired up over that clutch putt that he popped his dominant left shoulder of its socket.

An undeterred Bhatia rode a cart/strode back to the par-5 18th tee, and admittedly got a bit of a break when McCarthy finally showed signs he was human by chunking his third shot into the water.

At least Bhatia made a classy birdie to seal the deal.

How bad of a beat was this for McCarthy, and just how phenomenal was the golf that he and Bhatia played this week? Peep this mind-bending stat.

That’s straight psychedelic, dawg. I mean this was Henrik Stenson vs. Phil Mickelson at The 2016 Open Championship all over again, albeit on a smaller scale. Stenson won the Claret Jug that year with a total score of 20 under par, defeating Mickelson by three strokes. Thing is, Lefty was eleven shots clear of third place finisher J.B. Holmes.

Similar situation here. McCarthy and Bhatia finished 20 under, a full nine strokes ahead of Rory McIlroy, who needed to close with a six-under 66 just to get there. Rory is totally sucking me back in, making me believe he can, at long last, complete the career Grand Slam at The Masters.

Hot damn. This was no doubt among the top 10 most entertaining golf tournaments I’ve seen in my lifetime. Outstanding. Gutted for McCarthy that he didn’t win, because if style points were valid, I’d give him, like, the equivalent of three victories for that back nine performance. Shout out to Akshay for somehow grinding it out at the end. Not exactly Hulk walking around out there. Props for powering through. Have fun at Augusta!

And I thought Jordan Spieth’s 18th-hole adventure on Saturday was easily going to be the most chaotic occurrence at the Valero Texas Open this weekend. Was I ever glad to be wrong.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock