Relegated LIV Golf player shockingly finds backdoor to possible PGA Tour card

Turk Pettit is trying to accomplish something no player has ever done: go from LIV Golf to the PGA Tour.

Pettit, who is just 24 years old, played on the Saudi-backed circuit during its inaugural 2022 season. He competed in all eight events while playing for Bubba Watson’s Niblicks GC, which has been rebranded to the Range Goats.

The former Clemson Tiger earned almost $1.7 million, according to Golf Monthly. His best finish came at LIV Golf’s Bangkok event in Thailand, where he tied for 27th.

Yet, he struggled to gain any traction on the breakaway circuit, as he was relegated to the Asian Tour, where he spent most of his time throughout 2023.

His best finish this season came at the St. Andrews Bay Championship, where he finished in a tie for eighth. Pettit held the 54-hole lead by himself after firing a 10-under 62 during the third round of play. But a disappointing 2-over 74 kept him from the winner’s circle on Sunday.

Turk Pettit, Asian Tour, St Andrews

Turk Pettit hits a shot during the 2023 St Andrews Bay Championships.
Photo by Paul Devlin/Getty Images

He most recently finished in a tie for 56th at the Macao Open, where Min Woo Lee emerged victorious.

Nevertheless, Pettit’s relegation from LIV to the Asian Tour has allowed him to try and earn a PGA Tour card through Q-school.

All LIV Golf players remain suspended by the PGA Tour, a motion in place since June 2022. Interestingly, since Pettit does not play for LIV Golf anymore, he is now eligible to try and qualify for the tour.

Pettit played well at the first stage of Q-school, making it through to the second stage of qualifying after he finished solo eighth at the Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club in Montgomery, Texas.

The top 19 players and ties from Montgomery, Texas qualified for the second stage, which is listed in its entirety below:

  • Nov. 14-17: RTJ Golf Trail at Highland Oaks (Highlands/Marshwood), Dothan, Alabama
  • Nov. 14-17: Tesoro Club (Palmer), Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Nov. 14-17: The Landings Club (Deer Creek), Savannah, Georgia
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Valencia Country Club, Valencia, California
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, Valdosta, Georgia

Should Pettit make it through the second stage, he will then head to Ponta Vedra Beach, Florida, in mid-December, where the final stage of Q-School will take place. Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass and Sawgrass Country Club’s East and West courses will host the finals of Q-school.

This will be the first time since 2012 that the PGA Tour is awarding tour cards through Q-school, as the top five finishers plus ties will receive cards for the 2024 season.

Between 2013 and 2022, the top 40 finishers in Q-school earned Korn Ferry Tour cards for the subsequent seasons.

Should Pettit take advantage of this opportunity, he must play well again at one of the five venues hosting the second stage. It remains to be seen how many players will advance from the second stage to the final round of Q-school. Where Pettit will tee it up during that second stage is also unknown at this juncture.

Regardless, Pettit has the opportunity to do something rather groundbreaking. Still, it may not be that unorthodox should the PGA Tour’s agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund go through by Dec. 31, 2023.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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