Akshay Bhatia has had some time to rest and recharge, even if not by choice. Due to quirky PGA Tour rules, the phenom did not qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs despite his win at the Barracuda Championship.
At least he doesn’t have to worry about his card, which is locked up for the next two seasons. Now, Bhatia can try to keep climbing by getting into the 2024 signature events.
He’s teeing it up for the first time since the Wyndham Championship a month and a half ago.
The Los Angeles area native is at the Fortinet Championship for the third time. He debuted at Silverado as a 17-year-old in 2019 and missed the cut.
What a difference a year can make. Bhatia returned the next year and fired an opening round 66 to get in contention. He came back down to earth with 72 before rallying on the weekend to post 66-68 and finish T-9th.
Bhatia’s story is well known as he eschewed college to turn pro at 17. He’s taken some lumps along the way but is right on track by advancing from the Korn Ferry Tour after a couple seasons.
He played with special temporary status for much of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season and took advantage. Bhatia rattled off four top-10s in limited starts, including a solo second at the Puerto Rico Open to go with his win at the ‘Cuda.
He’s one of the most flexible players out on tour, using his skinny frame to lash at the ball. I’m unsure if his motion will hold up over decades, but it’s certainly working for Bhatia right now.