The Barracuda Championship came down to a tale of two prodigies, one stuck in neutral for a decade, the other sprinting towards stardom, Patrick Rodgers, 31, vs Akshay Bhatia, 21, in a playoff at the Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, California.

Bhatia, at 6-foot-1 and 60 kilograms a walking 2-iron, prevailed with a par on the first extra hole after Rodgers’ drive found a divot in the fairway, leading to a bogey that extended his streak of futility. Once No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, a former Stanford University star who shares the school record for most wins with Tiger Woods and Maverick McNealy, Rodgers’ wait for his maiden PGA Tour victory is again on hold.

“I can’t even talk,” Bhatia said. “I mean, I knew that if I got in a position like this I could do it. I’ve done it at every level. Man, that felt uncomfortable out there. I made a really bad double. I hit some really bad shots. But then I just kind of made some really nice putts on eight and nine. Then started hitting really good shots coming in.”

Akshay came to the par-4 18th hole trailing Rodgers by two points in the modified Stableford scoring system, then hit his second shot to eight feet and made the birdie putt, giving him the two points that pulled him into a tie. He and Rodgers both finished with 40 points.

“That putt on 18 in regulation was just… man, it’s a crazy feeling. I was telling my caddie, like your brain and everything, you can feel all this adrenaline, all this shakiness. It’s pretty crazy.”

On the playoff hole, the 18th, after Rodgers’ drive ended up in that divot, he missed the green with his second shot and eventually made bogey, while Bhatia made a routine par that included a tap-in for a victory that has qualified him for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Bhatia’s trajectory has been ascending from the moment he turned professional at the age of 17. College golf was never in his plans; he was an eighth-grader when he decided, with the support of his father, that he would turn pro once he was done with high school.

“It’s obviously been a really tough road,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of up, a lot of down. A lot of good, a lot of bad. But I knew I was going to get here. It was just matter of time. For it to happen this year with special temporary membership and now to get to play all these events and to get it done today was, I can’t even describe it.”