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Akshay Bhatia's late surge secures Rocket Mortgage Classic lead in Detroit

Akshay Bhatia made four birdies and an eagle in the last seven holes to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the US PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The 22-year-old American shot a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 at Detroit Golf Club, finishing just ahead of countrymen Michael Kim and Taylor Montgomery after 18 holes.

"I've been playing pretty solid," Bhatia said. "It's nice to be in this position.

"Putted great. I missed one green today, so I got that up and down. All in all, I hit it pretty nice with the irons and I made some putts."

A group tied for fourth at 66 included England's Aaron Rai, Germany's Matti Schmid, and Americans Eric Cole, Will Zalatoris, and defending champion Rickie Fowler.

Bhatia is seeking his third career PGA title and his third within the past year, having won playoffs to claim last July's Barracuda Championship and last April's Texas Open.

After birdies at the second and par-5 fourth holes from 10 and 16 feet respectively, Bhatia started his late surge with a 10-foot birdie putt at 12 and a 16-footer at the par-5 14th.

He made a birdie from just inside six feet at 16, chipped in from 82 feet at the par-5 17th, and sank a seven-foot birdie putt at 18.

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