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2018-19 Rookie Ranking

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mick Member Level  Monday, 05/06/19 07:07:13 PM
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2018-19 Rookie Ranking


Jim Knous finished T13 at the Wells Fargo Championship. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
There are 21 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2018-19. This page provides a subjective ranking updated weekly. The Arnold Palmer Award winner is determined in a vote by PGA TOUR members who make at least 15 starts.

The Wells Fargo Championship holds a dubious spot in the history of the Arnold Palmer Award.

It was in 2010 when then-rookie Rory McIlroy captured his first PGA TOUR victory in the tournament. Only he and Derek Lamely (Puerto Rico Open) were winners as rookies that season, but Rickie Fowler was voted winner of the award reserved for the best rookie.

McIlroy’s snub was rooted in the fact that he was merely a first-time member on the PGA TOUR and already a force globally since turning pro in 2007. Fowler didn’t exit the amateur ranks until 2009 and easily qualified as a true rookie. Using today’s definition (enacted early in 2013), Fowler still would qualify as a rookie in 2010, but McIlroy would’ve been ineligible because he made 11 starts in 2009.

McIlroy went 12-for-16 with the win and two thirds among five top 10s in 2010. Fowler made 20 of 28 cuts. His seven top 10s included two runner-up finishes and one third. He finished 32nd in the FedExCup to McIlroy at 36th. No rookie advanced to the TOUR Championship.

The thought of that season was rekindled when Max Homa broke through at the WFC on Sunday. He was a first-time PGA TOUR member in 2014-15, but he wasn’t rookie-eligible because he made eight starts as a non-member in 2013-14. However, it didn’t matter as it concerned the Arnold Palmer Award because he finished 163rd in his debut pursuit of the FedExCup. Similarly, Sam Saunders, Beau Hossler, Brandon Hagy and Sam Burns are among American-based talents who also exhausted rookie eligibility in a season prior to securing their first TOUR cards.

Quail Hollow Club doesn’t possess the kind of profile to surrender victories to rookies or first-time members, but Derek Ernst joined McIlroy in the annals when he emerged in a playoff as a true rookie in 2013. Since, only Patrick Rodgers (T2, 2015), Justin Thomas (T7, 2015), Aaron Wise (T2, 2018) and Peter Uihlein (T5, 2018) have recorded top 10s as rookies.

Jim Knous came within one stroke of becoming the latest on Sunday. He paced his class with a five-way T13, nine strokes adrift of Homa. All 21 rookies were in the field, 14 of whom missed the cut. The last time every rookie competed, only six of 21 survived the scheduled 54-hole cut of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February and none cracked the top 25.

Elsewhere, Robby Shelton survived a sudden-death playoff with Scottie Scheffler to win the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation. Both are virtual locks to be first-time PGA TOUR members in 2019-20, but only Scheffler hasn’t already burned his rookie eligibility. Shelton made eight starts on the PGA TOUR in 2016-17, so he will not be eligible for the Arnold Palmer Award.

Along with 19 PGA TOUR rookies scheduled to compete at this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, Scheffler will be making his third TOUR start of this season. In the more recent, the University of Texas product finished T20 at the Valero Texas Open.

LOW ROOKIE (Corales): Jim Knous, T13. First time.

* - In the field at the AT&T Byron Nelson as of May 5.

Through the Wells Fargo Championship
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s
1 Cameron Champ 39 Win 16 9 3
2 Adam Long 44 Win 16 5 2
3 *Martin Trainer 81 Win 15 7 1
4 *Sungjae Im 23 T3 21 15 5
5 *Wyndham Clark 98 T7 17 12 2
6 *K.H. Lee 80 T3 19 11 2
7 *Hank Lebioda 123 T5 14 10 1
8 *Jim Knous 121 T10 15 9 1
9 *Chase Wright 139 T7 17 6 2
10 *Kramer Hickok 150 T10 16 9 1
11 *Anders Albertson 147 T5 16 6 1
12 *Cameron Davis 154 T16 16 8 -
13 *Seth Reeves 176 T7 16 6 1
14 *Sepp Straka 166 T13 14 5 -
15 *Adam Svensson 174 T18 16 7 -
16 *José de Jesús Rodríguez 178 T23 15 7 -
17 *Brady Schnell 193 T12 12 4 -
18 *Joey Garber 202 T10 13 5 1
19 *Kyle Jones 192 T23 17 5 -
20 *John Chin 209 T21 12 4 -
21 *Chris Thompson 223 T45 10 3 -
NOTE: A player’s rookie season ("Rookie Year") is defined as the season in which he becomes a PGA TOUR member (including Special Temporary Members) and plays in 10 or more events as a member or finishes in the Top 125 on the Official FedExCup Points List or qualifies as a Top 125 - Nonmember, whichever occurs first. Further, for purposes of this definition, a new member (including Special Temporary Members) shall not be eligible for the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year if he has previously played in more than seven (7) Official PGA TOUR Money events as a professional in any prior season.

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