2015-2016 Rookie Rankings
August 29, 2016
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Patton Kizzire was the leading money winner during the 2015 Web.com Tour season. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
There are 20 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2015-16. 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: Rookies were spread over four tours on three continents last week. Six kicked off the 10th FedExCup Playoffs at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course for The Barclays. Emiliano Grillo tied for second place, one stroke adrift of champion Patrick Reed. In the process, the Argentine equaled the record for best finish by a rookie in any event in Playoffs history.
Marc Leishman set the precedent with a T2 at the 2009 BMW Championship. Jordan Spieth shared runner-up honors at the 2013 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Daniel Berger took outright second at the 2015 BMW Championship. (Spieth also owns the best result by a rookie at the Deutsche Bank Championship with a T4.) All three went on to win the Rookie of the Year award. Since breaking through for victory to begin 2015-16 at the Frys.com Open, Grillo has three official top 10s worldwide, but the T2 on Long Island is his just his second on the PGA TOUR this season.
Rhein Gibson was among seven golfers who posted a T4 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open on the Web.com Tour. He was the only PGA TOUR rookie in the field. The tournament concluded the regular season from which the top 25 on the money list earned PGA TOUR cards for 2016-17. (Of the graduates, 18 will be TOUR rookies.) Gibson ranks 30th, just $5,848 outside the bubble. He was one stroke from regaining fully exempt status without needing the Web.com Tour Finals, but that’s up next for the Aussie. He’s 5-for-7 on the secondary circuit this year with a pair of second-place finishes.
Søren Kjeldsen, who qualified as a rookie at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship, tied for eighth at the European Tour’s Made in Denmark on Sunday. He’s now 17th in the Race to Dubai standings. Other PGA TOUR rookies in the R2D: Rafa Cabrera-Bello (fourth); Byeong-Hun An (28th); Grillo (31st); Thomas Aiken (59th).
In his season debut on the Japan Golf Tour, Hiroshi Iwata missed the cut at the Rizap KBC Augusta by three strokes.
LOW ROOKIE: Emiliano Grillo, T2. Sixth time (Win, Frys.com; T55, DEAN & DELUCA; T11, Memorial; T14, WGC-Bridgestone; T13, PGA Championship).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): n/a
* - In the field at the Deutsche Bank Championship as of Aug. 28.
# - In the field at the Japan Golf Tour's Fujisankei Classic as of Aug. 28.
^ - Byeong-Hun An, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Søren Kjeldsen and Jon Rahm completed the PGA TOUR Season with enough non-member FedExCup points and/or earnings to finish inside the top 125 among members and, therefore, qualify as rookies. None are eligible for the Playoffs, but the number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship.
Through The Barclays
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Emiliano Grillo 6 P1 22 19 2 2 *Smylie Kaufman 34 1st 26 16 4 3 *Patton Kizzire 72 T2 26 20 5 4 ^Rafa Cabrera-Bello (79) 3rd 10 9 3 5 *Harold Varner III 87 T5 27 17 4 6 Brett Stegmaier 108 T2 29 16 3 7 ^Byeong-Hun An (101) P2 14 10 2 8 ^Jon Rahm (122) T2 7 6 2 9 ^Søren Kjeldsen (139) T7 12 10 2 10 Michael Kim 118 T11 29 22 - 11 Bronson Burgoon 131 T14 27 16 - 12 #Hiroshi Iwata 146 T4 29 14 1 13 Rob Oppenheim 158 T10 21 13 1 14 Andrew Landry 178 T8 18 9 1 15 Thomas Aiken 166 T15 23 12 - 16 Dawie van Der Walt 171 T17 25 11 - 17 Abraham Ancer 190 T18 19 6 - 18 Rhein Gibson 199 T25 20 9 - 19 Lucas Lee 203 T36 16 16 - 20 Patrick Cantlay n/a - - - -
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.