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Valspar extends sponsor exemption to 17-year-old Bhatia

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Akshay Bhatia, the 17-year-old reigning AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, has received a sponsor exemption into the 2019 Valspar Championship.

Bhatia is ranked eighth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He recently won the Jones Cup and is coming off a year in which he won the Boys Junior PGA, AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic and Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. He also received an invite to last December's Walker Cup practice session at Seminole.

The Valspar, set for March 21-24 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., will be Bhatia's first PGA Tour start.