Akshay Bhatia has revealed his state of shock at learning he is not guaranteed a spot in the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs despite last week capturing his maiden PGA Tour title at the Barracuda Championship.
The catch for the rising 21-year-old American star is that he was competing in last week's tournament under Special Temporary Membership of the PGA Tour.
That was a status he earned earlier this season in March when finishing runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open.
Unfortunately for the left-handed Bhatia, who defeated Patrick Rodgers in a playoff on Sunday, he dropped four spots in the FedEx Cup standings to 92nd despite earning his maiden win.
Confused? Join the party.
According to PGA Tour's rules, the modified-points scoring Barracuda Championship which played opposite The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, did not earn Bhatia any points due to his Temporary Status since the PGA Tour had co-sanctioned the tournament with the DP World Tour.
Last weekend marked the first time ever that two left-handers won in PGA Tour-counting events on the same day with Brian Harman also landing The Open.
The decision from the PGA Tour was to award 50 spots to the DP World Tour's players as the PGA Tour deemed there were not enough of its own players in the tournament to qualify for Temporary Members of the PGA Tour.
Still with us?
A winner dropping four spots?!
Bhatia thinks so, too.
"My agent told me a couple hours after the [Barracuda] trophy presentation," Bhatia explained on SiriusXM Radio this week.
"I mean, I was just like, really shocked, because my caddie and I talked about going to play Barbasol and Barracuda, and with Special Temporary [status] obviously, you're just trying to win within these next four events to get into the playoffs. That's the whole goal.
"I was like, you know what, I told him [my caddie] I was going to play six in a row. Our goal is just to get one win, get in the playoffs, and then my schedule changes."
Bhatia is currently ranked 92nd in the FedEx Cup standings and the top 70 make it into the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event at the FedEx St Jude Championship in two weeks time.
To compound matters, Bhatia has since withdrawn from this week's 3M Open.
A reason has yet to be given for his WD.
That means in order for Bhatia to play his way into the first Playoffs event next month, he will need a big finish at next week's Wyndham Championship, should he be fit and healthy to compete in the tournament.
Following his latest comments about the PGA Tour, one LIV Golf fan account has rushed to Twitter to suggest Bhatia is in "serious negotiations with LIV Golf for the 2024 season."
Make of that what you will.
We'll leave the tweet here:
BREAKING:— LIV Golf Insider (@LIVTracking) July 28, 2023
PGA Tour star Akshay Bhatia is in serious negotiation with #LIVGolf for the 2024 season. After being left out of the FedEx Championship, Bhatia is ready to make the jump to the surging #LIVGolf League.
Which LIV franchise would be a good fit for Bhatia?
The popular Flushing It account has immediately played down any talk of Bhatia moving to LIV Golf next season:
This isn’t even slightly true.— Flushing It (@flushingitgolf) July 28, 2023