LIV Golf PGA Tour

Why Bubba Watson’s PGA Tour resignation to join LIV Golf could change the fate of four aspiring tour pros

By Shane Ryan
Bubba Watson publicly announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he had resigned his membership from the PGA Tour ahead of playing on the LIV Golf circuit in 2023. The seemingly innocuous decision, however, could be a significant break for four aspiring tour pros.

Watson, a two-time Masters champions and 12-time tour winner, revealed last month that he was leaving the tour after 17 seasons to join the LIV series. The 43-year-old is still recovering from a knee injury that has kept him from competing since the PGA Championship in May. Because he hasn’t yet played in a LIV event, Watson hasn’t been suspended by the PGA Tour, and thus remains on the eligibility portion of the FedEx Cup standings, sitting at 151st with 199.056 points.

MORE: 15 fascinating PGA Tour FedEx Cup stats
LOOK: Big names who just lost their PGA Tour card

Last Sunday, Joohyung “Tom” Kim won the Wyndham Championship, which earned him a place in the FedEx Cup Playoffs as a full tour member after previously being on the special temporary membership list. He jumped to 34th on the points list and knocked everyone below him down one spot. In turn, this meant that four players who had seemed to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals — a three-event series in which the top 25 finishers earn PGA Tour cards — from a separate non-member list fell below the threshold.

The maths get complicated, but essentially the four players — Anthony Quayle (56 points), Chris Naegel (55), Rick Lamb (55), and Matti Schmid (53) — needed more points than the No. 200 player on the FedEx Cup eligibility list to make it into the KFT Finals. They met that standard before Kim won — Jonas Blixt was No. 200 with 49.679 points — but fell below it when Jason Dufner and his 58.757 points moved from 199th to 200th. If Watson disappears from the list because of his resignation that would move Blixt back up to 200th, and those four players would once again meet the threshold and be able to play in the KFT Finals, which begin next week.

Despite Watson’s statement that he would be removed from the list by Sunday, the PGA Tour had no comment on what action it might take to modify the list, or whether his resignation will elevate the four players. The Korn Ferry Tour Finals series begins on August 18, and any move to shift eligibility would have to be finalised by Sunday. As of Friday, Watson was still on the list.

You may also like:
Tony Finau closing in on Tiger Woods’ mark
Why PGA Tour has not suspended Cameron Smith
Rickie Fowler in the swing with new caddie at FedEx Cup Playoffs
Ferguson and Doherty lead the way in Northern Ireland tri-sanctioned event
LIV Golf’s Scott Vincent rolling again in Singapore
Patrick Reed expects more LIV Golfers to compete on Asian Tour
Reed was ‘on the fence’ but loving team life on LIV Golf
LIV Golfers take in the sights ahead of International Series Singapore
Key stories to follow at FedEx Cup Playoffs

Carlos Ortiz withdraws from LIV Golf lawsuit
Cameron Smith tight-lipped over LIV Golf reports
PGA Tour wins court battle over LIV Golf to prevent banned players from competing in FedEx Cup
Youngster gets Aramco Team Series spot
WATCH: Highlights of the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield
Relief for Buhai at AIG Women’s Open
R&A increases Women’s Open purse to 7.3 million
Get the August 2022 edition of Golf Digest Middle East FREE here in English and Arabic
Joh Rahm welcome’s second son to family ahead of FedEx Cup Playoffs

’17 holes to go’: Rory and JT on LIV Golf/PGA Tour legal saga
Matsuyama withdraws from first FedEx Cup event
The mystery behind Dustin Johnson’s missing FedEx Cup plaque
PGA looks to the future with projected earnings
PGA Tour says LIV Golf players ‘fabricating an emergency’
LIV Golf numbers grow on Asian Tour
Zalatoris to play 40th anniversary Nedbank Challenge
Gary Player at odds with son once again

15 fascinating PGA Tour FedEx Cup stats
LOOK: Big names who just lost their PGA Tour card
WATCH: An emotional Nick Faldo says goodbye


Golf Digest Middle East

Launched in 2008, Golf Digest Middle East is the #1 golf magazine in the region, featuring local content and exclusive articles from the world's leading professionals

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Cameron Smith’s fifth win of 2022 was the least surprising but most emotional

Cameron Smith’s fifth win of 2022 was the least surprising but most emotional