McConnell Golf Well Repped at Masters

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Pro News

Former McConnell Golf Junior Scholar Akshay Bhatia captured a thrilling Valero Texas Open this past Sunday to secure the final spot in this week’s Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

The 22-year-old left-hander, a true testament to the power of perseverance, held off a stunning late run by Denny McCarthy and battled a shoulder injury to emerge victorious in the PGA Tour event, earning the rare privilege of a drive down Magnolia Lane at the Masters.

Bhatia will be joined at Augusta National by another former McConnell Golf Junior Scholar, Grayson Murray, who is making his first Masters appearance and his fourth major championship start. Murray qualified for the Masters by winning in Honolulu in January to earn his second career PGA TOUR win and his first since 2017.

Also this past Sunday, a McConnell Golf member, 11-year-old Simon Myers of Durham, N.C. — whose parents, Linda and Tim Myers, are members at Treyburn Country Club — became the second McConnell Golf member to compete in the Drive, Chip, and Putt national finals at Augusta National. He finished seventh overall in the Boys 10-11 division, including third place in chipping and fourth place in driving.

Ten years after competing in the Drive, Chip, and Putt event at Augusta National, Bhatia became the first participant in the youth competition to qualify for the Masters, earning the last available spot in a brilliantly unlikely way.

Murray received his McConnell Golf Junior Golf Scholarship in 2008, and two years later, when he was 16 years old, he became the second-youngest player to make the cut in a Tour event when he played the weekend at the Rex Hospital Open at another McConnell Golf property, The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation. By 2016, the former Leesville Road High School golfer had earned his full-time PGA TOUR card by finishing among the top 25 money winners on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour.

McConnell Golf, a name synonymous with excellence, offers its members access to a diverse collection of properties. Each property is a unique icon in its locale, offering pure golf, legendary service, and vibrant amenities. With courses designed by celebrated architects like Donald Ross, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman, this collection is the vision of our esteemed CEO, John McConnell, the largest owner of premier country clubs in the Southeast region.

McConnell Golf provides best-in-class destinations with exceptional golf and revitalizing amenities, from contemporary fitness facilities, resort-style pools, tennis, and pickleball to dining for the epicurious. This includes management of the top-ranked Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech in Radford, Virginia, and the Raleigh Golf Association (RGA) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Photo Courtesy of Valero Texas Open


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.