It's a sleepy story that comes to us from the PGA Tour where he starts this year: Akshay Bhatia, 21, winner of the Barracuda Championship, now has his card guaranteed on the American circuit until 2025. But he will have some struggled to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs as his first PGA Tour victory did not earn him FedEx points.
Akshay Bhatia, statements
The euphoria was short-lived. Akshay Bhatia thought he qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs thanks to his victory last Sunday, in play-off, in the Barracuda Championship. Bad luck, this tournament didn't give him any points on the FedEx rankings...because he's not yet a permanent member of the PGA Tour.
Explanations. “I have now qualified for the playoffs (of the FedEx Cup), it was an important objective for me, however rejoiced Akshay Bhatia after his first victory on the US circuit. Obviously I want to get into the top 50 for next season.
And, yeah, I think that changes the plans a bit. I'm just excited. I love to golf, I love to play on the PGA Tour and it's a dream come true. » Bhatia's excitement was predicated on the size of his check, $684,000, the biggest of his young career, bringing his total this season to $1,913,058.
Nice jackpot for a "rookie", but not enough to go to the FedEx Cup playoffs. While he also gained 100 places in three weeks, in the world rankings, from 206th to 106th. Flashback. Bhatia played a full season on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022 but failed to earn a PGA Tour card for 2023.
He won once on the US second division, the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, securing his place for This year. Except that by finishing 2nd in the Puerto Rico Open in March, everything changed for him. He became a "special temporary member" of that same PGA Tour, able to accept unlimited sponsor invitations for the remainder of the season.
This is where it gets harder. Special temporary members are not always eligible for FedEx Cup playoffs unless they win a PGA Tour tournament. But not all. Bhatia certainly won the Barracuda Championship, a week after taking 9th place in the Barbasol Championship.
Unfortunately, these two tournaments did not award FedEx Cup points to non-permanent PGA Tour members. As a result, Bhatia is only 92nd this week in the FedEx points standings, still far from the 70th and last qualifying place for the FedEx St.
Jude Championship (August 10-13). Unless… Last possible joker for Bhatia, one of the revelations of the season on the PGA Tour, who is not playing the 3M Open this week in Minnesota: a 4th place in solo, or better, at the Wyndham Championship next week, him would earn enough FedEx points to qualify for Memphis. To be continued.
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