Akshay Bhatia tied for the lead after two days at the Korn Ferry Tour's Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay

Akshay Bhatia tied for the lead after two days at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay

Akshay Bhatia won for the first time on the Korn Ferry Tour this time last year. Approaching the middle of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, he is closing in on victory number 2.

Bhatia was 19 years old and was making his first start for KFT a year ago when he won. Here, in 2023, he opened with a 67 on Sunday (KFT’s season-opening tournament is a Sunday-Wednesday affair) and posted a 69 on Monday. He had four bogeys (and two birdies) up front, but closed with four birdies over his last eight holes, including Nos. 15, 16 and 17. Monday’s 67 came despite a double bogey. He is in 8 under. Monday’s game was called off due to darkness with 14 golfers still on the course.

Shad Tuten is also 8 under after rounds of 69-67. Three golfers, Daniel Miernicki, Chandler Phillips and Cody Blick, are tied for third, though Blick has only gone 15 holes.

Other notables in the field include Chase Seiffert (T-10), Grayson Murray (T-13), Camilo Villegas (T-48) and Willie Mack III (T-93).

First round leader Jeremy Paul followed up his 65 with a 79 in round two.

This week’s purse is $1 million, with $152,272 going to the winner.

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Scott Brown and Akshay Bhatia walk onto the 14th fairway during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

The 16th hole during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Jeremy Paul plays his shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Martin Contini, Patrick Flavin and Thomas Walsh walk onto the 14th green during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

A caddy climbs a tree looking for Tain Lee’s ball on the 15th fairway during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

The 15th fairway during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Bahamas Great Exuma Classic 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay

Wil Bateman, Michael Gellerman and Evan Harmeling walk the 15th fairway during the second round of the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club on Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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