It’s an oddity when any PGA Tour switches to a long – or broomstick putter – but Akshay Bhatia seems to have made it work. Bhatia and his 44-inch putter – with an Odyssey Versa Jailbird 380 head – won this past week’s Texas Valero Open in a playoff against Denny McCarthy, who ironically put on a putting clinic for the ages on the back nine at TPC San Antonio..

The victory was Bhatia’s second on PGA Tour – he won the 2023 Barracuda Championship in Bermuda – but the victory can be considered his “coming out’’ party of sorts, given that it came just a few days before this week’s Masters. 

Bhatia began using a broomstick – with a different head – this past fall. He goes into the Masters ranked 38th in overall putting on Tour.

“I’ve built a really nice team around me, people that I trust, and we went through kind of the stats last year of what I can improve on,’’ said Bhatia shortly after arriving at Augusta National Golf Club “My ball striking was always really good; putting always kind of lacked. When you want to contend in tournaments, you got to make some putts when they count.

“So, I just felt like the style I was using previous was good – it just wasn’t as consistent. So we took a chance on switching to the broomstick. I talked to a couple players about it, and they gave me some good advice, just kind of what to work on.’’

When he made decision to switch to a broomstick putter, Bhatia said, he promised himself he would use it for at least six months. He’s still that cone of promise.

“So far my stats have kind of skyrocketed. So it’s nice improvement, especially from kind of the 10- to 15-feet range.’’

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Photo: PGA Tour