TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
No. 27: Aaron Wise
December 04, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- December 04, 2018
Aaron Wise's memorable rookie campaign
Aaron Wise joined elite company when he qualified for the 2018 TOUR Championship.
Only Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Si Woo Kim made the TOUR Championship at a younger age. All four own either a major or PLAYERS Championship.
That bodes well for Wise, whose PGA TOUR career is already off to a promising start. The 22-year-old was named the 2018 Rookie of the Year for after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson, finishing second to Jason Day at the Wells Fargo Championship and posting top-10s at a World Golf Championship (T6, Bridgestone Invitational) and FedExCup Playoff event (T5, THE NORTHERN TRUST).
Wise was one of just 12 players with at least three top-20 finishes in the Playoffs. He was the only rookie to make it to East Lake, finishing 24th in the FedExCup.
Wise was playing alongside the TOUR’s elite little more than two years after winning the NCAA Championship as an Oregon sophomore. He won his third pro start, on Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, and was victorious last year on the Web.com Tour. It took him just 18 starts to win on the PGA TOUR.
“It seemed pretty seamless, but it’s been a lot of hard work and there have been a lot of tough times,” he said. - By Sean Martin
BY THE NUMBERS
How Aaron Wise ranked in Strokes Gained statistics during his last full season on the PGA TOUR:
Current 2018-19 position: 60th
Playoff appearances: 1
TOUR Championship appearances:1
Best FedExCup result: 24th in his rookie season of 2017-18.
SHOTLINK FUN FACT
Aaron Wise made the second-most birdies (69) by a rookie in any season in the ShotLink era. Jordan Spieth had 74 in 2013.
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Aaron Wise in 2019.
TOUR INSIDER: Unforeseen circumstances briefly set Wise’s rookie season off course. He broke two drivers at the Fort Worth Invitational, just days after his victory across town at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Wise struggled until he could find a trustworthy replacement, missing his next five cuts. He finally found a new driver during a two-week break before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. “The driver has always been a strength of my game,” said Wise, who ranked 27th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last season. “As soon as I lost that, I felt like I wasn’t in position to make good scores on holes.” -- By Sean Martin
FANTASY INSIDER: Kids these days, amirite? The 22-year-old is among the evidence that the learning curve can be just a theory. His pedigree lifted his inbound fantasy value, but to record a breakthrough victory among four top 10s and another five top 20s en route to the Rookie of the Year award sated even the most demanding of investors. As he scales to status as a regular in the majors and World Golf Championships, his overall scheduling will be impacted … in theory. -- By Rob Bolton
EQUIPMENT INSIDER: Wise switched to a Callaway Rogue driver (10.5 degrees) in the beginning of 2018, and he averaged 302.9 yards per drive last season ranking 11th in total driving. He employed a Fujikura Pro Tour Spec shaft during his win at the 2018 Byron Nelson, but he’s since switched into a Fujikura Evolution III shaft. Wise has also been tinkering with different prototype hybrid shafts in his Callaway X-Forged UT 2 iron in the past year, going from a UST Mamiya proto to a KBS Tour proto. While Wise uses Callaway irons (Apex 2016 4 iron, Apex Pro 2016 5 iron and Apex MB 2018 6-PW), he uses Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges. -- By Andrew Tursky
STYLE INSIDER: With a plethora of players wearing Nike, Wise would do well to create a signature style for himself. Sticking with a vibrant color palette would help him to stand out from the crowd. His New Year’s resolution should be to size down in his shirts. His wiry frame would do well with a slimmer fitting polo. -- By Greg Monteforte