The rule that could keep Akshay Bhatia out of FedExCup Playoffs
To the victor went many spoils on Sunday at the Barracuda Championship, as 21-year-old former prodigy Akshay Bhatia captured his first career PGA Tour victory.
It just didn’t include any FedExCup points.
By winning the opposite-field event, Bhatia shed his status as a special temporary member and is now eligible for this season’s FedExCup Playoffs as a full-time member, which he will be through the 2024 season. He also picked up spots in next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Players, PGA Championship and Charles Schwab Challenge, the latter likely the only invitational event that won’t be designated next season.
However, Bhatia did not receive the 300 FedExCup points available to the Barracuda’s winner due to the co-sanctioned tournament, which includes 50 DP World Tour members, having the same non-member regulations that the World Golf Championships had. The Barbasol Championship, which was played opposite the Scottish Open, featured the same regulations, so Bhatia didn’t get any points for his T-9 finish there, either.
So, Bhatia is now officially on the FedExCup points list and eligible for the playoffs, but he debuts at No. 92 with 434.856 points.
Only 70 players qualify for next month’s first playoff event, and the current bubble man is K.H. Lee at 567.241 points, 132.385 more than Bhatia.
Had Bhatia been credited with non-member points at the Barbasol and Barracuda, he’d be No. 51 in points with approximately 772.856 points, not only comfortably into the FedEx St. Jude Invitational but also knocking on the door for the 50-man BMW Championship, the second playoff event.
Bhatia’s situation isn’t unprecedented. The most notable past example was in 2015, when Shane Lowry won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as a non-member. He didn’t receive FedExCup points for that victory and finished the year No. 175 on the points list, missing the playoffs.