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AKRON, Ohio – After a standout rookie season highlighted by his win at the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, Retief Goosen has been named the recipient of the 2019 PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year. Goosen and Scott McCarron, who was voted the 2019 Player of the Year, were presented their awards Tuesday evening at the PGA TOUR Champions Annual Awards Dinner held at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
“It’s an honor for me to be named PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year,” said Goosen. “The competition on this Tour is incredible, so to get my first win at a major championship like the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS and to now receive this award is quite humbling. I look forward to returning to Akron to defend my title at Firestone Country Club in July.”
Goosen, who turned 50 in February of 2019, won the vote for Rookie of the Year over Doug Barron. The South African was also presented with the Byron Nelson Award for finishing with the lowest scoring average (69.14) of the season, making him the first rookie to win the award since 2010. Additionally, Goosen is just the third player in history to win the SENIOR PLAYERS and go on to win Rookie of the Year honors. The first was Dave Stockton in 1992, followed by Craig Stadler in 2003.
Goosen’s rookie campaign included 12 top-10s and was highlighted by his win at Firestone, where he birdied the final two holes to secure his first PGA TOUR Champions title. He finished the season ranked No. 3 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings after nearly winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, only to lose to Jeff Maggert on the third playoff hole.
Retief Goosen – Rookie of the Year, Byron Nelson Award
“We already knew we had an incredible champion in Retief as a decorated World Golf Hall of Fame member, and we are happy to learn his list of accolades continues to grow as he adds 2019 Rookie of the Year to his list of accomplishments,” said Executive Director Don Padgett. “We are proud to call him our defending champion and eager to welcome him back for the 2020 installment of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.”
The 2020 season begins Thursday, January 16, with the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. McCarron and Goosen highlight a field that includes 11 World Golf Hall of Fame members, including Ernie Els, who will be making his PGA TOUR Champions debut.
The 2020 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will return to Firestone Country Club the week of July 8-12, with The Ambassador of Golf Event by FirstEnergy Foundation event scheduled for July 9. For general information on the upcoming tournament, please visit BridgestoneSENIORPLAYERS.com or contact the tournament office at 330-644-2299.
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