The PGA Tour awarded Akshay Bhatia a special temporary membership for the rest of the 2022-23 season on Tuesday.
The distinction means that Bhatia, 21, is allowed to receive an unlimited number of sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season while he attempts to earn full membership for the 2024 season.
According to the PGA Tour, to earn full status for next season Bhatia must earn at least as many “non-member FedEx Cup points” as the final eligible player to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
It’s the same temporary membership that the tour gave South Korea’s Joohyung “Tom” Kim last summer. Kim went on to win the Wyndham Championship and earn his tour card for the 2022-23 season.
Bhatia tied for second at the Puerto Rico Open, an alternate event opposite the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month. In four starts on tour this season Bhatia has made all four cuts, also landing a T17 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last October.
Bhatia made a splash in September 2020 when he tied for ninth at the season-opening Safeway Open at just age 18.
The California native has primarily played the Korn Ferry Tour since then.