2016-2017 Rookie Ranking
June 19, 2017
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Ryan Blaum secured the best finish (T24) of all rookies at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational last week. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
There are 26 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2016-17. This feature provides a subjective ranking updated weekly. The Rookie of the Year is voted by PGA TOUR members who make at least 15 starts.
SNAPSHOT: If you ever wondered what kind of impact the U.S. Open can have on a PGA TOUR rookie, look no further than Ricky Barnes. Thanks in large part to his title at the 2002 U.S. Amateur, he was a notable figure in the sport before he turned pro, but it wasn’t until he was 28 years old in 2009 when he finally secured his first PGA TOUR card.
Barnes struggled in all but one start that season: the U.S. Open at Bethpage. Famously contested on a weather-beaten host track, Barnes landed in the better side of the draw. He didn’t waste the opportunity, finishing in a three-way share of second place. It was his first career top-10 finish and it remains his career-best finish.
Arguably most valuable is that he hasn’t let go of at least some status since that fateful and fruitful week on Long Island. When he survived the cut at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance earlier this month, it was his 150th cut made on TOUR. It’s a mammoth achievement for any non-winner because it secures TOUR membership for the rest of his life (via the Veteran Membership provision).
Certainly, the eight rookies in last week’s field at Erin Hills wouldn’t complain about claiming a similar career accomplishment later, but a couple can celebrate another in the meantime.
Xander Schauffele (T5) and Trey Mullinax (T9) never finished better than how each fared at the U.S. Open. Schauffele matched his career-best finish first recorded at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall. And as a result of their top 10s, each has secured an exemption into the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, also on Long Island.
The newest PGA TOUR rookie missed the cut by three strokes. After accepting Special Temporary Membership earlier in the year, Tyrrell Hatton was going to be rookie eligible once he made his 10th start, which occurred at the U.S. Open. So, he’ll remain included in the table below and these recaps for the remainder of the season.
Fellow Special Temporary Members Tommy Fleetwood and Thomas Pieters also competed at Erin Hills. After sharing the lead through two rounds, Fleetwood placed fourth alone, five strokes back of champion Brooks Koepka (who was low rookie in the 2014 U.S. Open with a T4 at Pinehurst). If the Englishman makes another three starts in 2016-17, he’ll join the group below à la Hatton. If he doesn’t total 10 starts, he’ll be added at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship as long as he’s inside the top 125 among members with his equivalent of non-member FedExCup points. That’s a foregone conclusion since he’d currently rank 49th.
Pieters missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but he’s in the same boat in nine starts. He’d slot 47th among members in FedExCup points.
Alex Noren has yet to qualify for Special Temporary Membership in eight starts, but he’d be 112th with his non-member FedExCup points, so he remains on the watch list despite also missing the cut at Erin Hill.
Three rookies competed at last week’s Air Capital Classic Supporting Wichita’s Youth on the Web.com Tour. Brett Drewitt led the way with a T27, Bobby Wyatt placed T32 and Rick Lamb missed the cut by two shots.
LOW ROOKIE: Xander Schauffele, T5. Second time (T24, Wells Fargo).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): Xander Schauffele (T5); Trey Mullinax (T9).
* - In the field at the Travelers Championship as of June 18.
# - Top-10 alternate at the Travelers Championship as of June 18.
% - In the field at the Web.com Tour's Lincoln Land Charity Championship as of June 18.
^ - Tyrrell Hatton has Special Temporary Membership but is ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs unless he wins a tournament. As a result, the number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members.
Through the U.S. Open
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Wesley Bryan 22 Win 19 12 4 2 *Mackenzie Hughes 20 Win 22 14 2 3 *Cody Gribble 65 Win 20 9 2 4 Ollie Schniederjans 51 T3 19 14 4 5 ^Tyrrell Hatton (80) T4 (2) 10 7 3 6 J.J. Spaun 81 T4 21 13 3 7 Patrick Cantlay 53 2nd 7 7 2 8 *Xander Schauffele 107 T5 (2) 18 11 2 9 *Dominic Bozzelli 93 T3 18 9 3 10 *C.T. Pan 88 T2 22 8 2 11 *J.T. Poston 105 T10 21 15 1 12 *Ryan Blaum 116 T11 21 16 - 13 *Grayson Murray 122 T8 19 11 1 14 *Trey Mullinax 123 T9 20 11 1 15 *Julian Etulain 147 T5 14 9 1 16 *Seamus Power 139 T21 17 12 - 17 *Richy Werenski 153 T9 18 10 1 18 *Ryan Brehm 158 T18 17 13 - 19 *Joel Dahmen 162 T9 9 4 1 20 Andrew Johnston 178 T10 11 7 1 21 *Nicholas Lindheim 175 T23 14 7 - 22 *Brian Campbell 192 T25 13 5 - 23 *Sebastian Muñoz 197 T27 10 5 - 24 *Brett Drewitt 191 T31 12 6 - 25 #%Rick Lamb 223 T60 12 3 - 26 #%Bobby Wyatt 226 T57 13 2 -
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, the Top 125 on the Official PGA TOUR Money 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.