2016-2017 Rookie Ranking
May 22, 2017
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Joel Dahmen secured the first top-10 finish of his young career at the AT&T Byron Nelson. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
There are 25 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: It won’t make headlines nationally, but Joel Dahmen’s share of ninth place at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday wasn’t without its own impactful narrative.
The 29-year-old from Washington state has been a poster boy of the developmental progression under the PGA TOUR’s umbrella. He won twice early in 2014 on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and hasn’t looked back. After a modest debut on the Web.com Tour in 2015, he held on by $975 for the 25th and final PGA TOUR card via the regular-season money list in 2016.
When you reach the top rung, there’s nowhere else to climb, so the competition is the fiercest, strongest, deepest. Pick any superlative. However, the do-or-die reality of keeping his job is nothing compared to the do-or-die reality he faced when he conquered testicular cancer in 2011. Two years prior, his brother also defeated the same disease, but when Joel was in high school (in 2004), their mother died due to pancreatic cancer. Suffice it to say that he’s endured all sides of it.
Because he started 2016-17 at the bottom of the Web.com Tour graduate reshuffle category and missed both cuts in the fall (that comprised the first phase of the reshuffle), the PGA TOUR rookie’s back remained against the wall. He survived cuts at Pebble Beach and in Puerto Rico, but arrived at TPC Four Seasons Resort last week with only seven starts on the season and not enough rounds logged to be ranked officially in TOUR statistics. What’s more, he was just 221st in the FedExCup standings.
Sure, opportunities for additional playing time grow in direction relation to the size of fields, but so can the pressure to perform when success is within reach. His first real day of reckoning would come Sunday.
Dahmen started the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson tied for 24th. That meant a grouping with FedExCup points leader and world-No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Red-hot Kevin Tway was also in the threesome. Lo and behold, it was the rookie who ran through the tape. Dahmen closed with a 3-under 67 (to DJ’s 69 and Tway’s 71). With his career-best finish in what was his ninth PGA TOUR start, he rose to 173rd in the FedExCup standings.
Dahmen still has a summer’s worth of work ahead of him, even if his objective eventually reduces to merely securing a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals – it required 111.760 FedExCup points in one less event last season to qualify; he currently has 81.713 – but perspective cannot be measured. Indeed, Sunday was a son’s day.
LOW ROOKIE: Joel Dahmen, T9. First time.
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): Joel Dahmen (T9).
* - In the field at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational as of May 21.
# - Top-10 alternate at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational as of May 21.
^ - In the field at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship as of May 21.
Through the AT&T Byron Nelson
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Wesley Bryan 19 Win 17 11 4 2 *Mackenzie Hughes 18 Win 20 13 2 3 *Cody Gribble 53 Win 18 8 2 4 *Ollie Schniederjans 45 T3 17 12 4 5 *J.J. Spaun 68 T4 19 13 3 6 Patrick Cantlay 44 2nd 6 6 2 7 *C.T. Pan 81 T2 19 7 2 8 *Dominic Bozzelli 96 T3 16 7 2 9 *J.T. Poston 97 T10 18 14 1 10 *Ryan Blaum 113 T11 19 15 - 11 #Grayson Murray 126 T8 17 9 1 12 #Xander Schauffele 131 T5 15 8 1 13 #Richy Werenski 141 T9 17 10 1 14 Julian Etulain 151 T5 13 8 1 15 #Seamus Power 140 T21 16 11 - 16 #Trey Mullinax 149 T14 18 9 - 17 Ryan Brehm 159 T18 15 11 - 18 Joel Dahmen 173 T9 8 3 1 19 ^Andrew Johnston 187 T10 10 6 1 20 Nicholas Lindheim 170 T23 13 7 - 21 Sebastian Muñoz 197 T27 9 4 - 22 Brian Campbell 199 T25 12 4 - 23 Brett Drewitt 188 T31 11 5 - 24 Bobby Wyatt 226 T57 12 2 - 25 Rick Lamb 224 T60 11 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.