2017-18 Rookie Ranking
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
There are 24 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2017-18. 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: Unlike last year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, there was no such noise made by a rookie at Shinnecock Hills. With but his cut of an eight-way share of 48th place, Peter Uihlein paced five in the field. Sectional qualifier Tyler Duncan (T56) was the only other to survive the 36-hole cut of low 60 and ties.
It’s well-documented that Uihlein’s direct comp is fellow world traveler Brooks Koepka, who now will be the two-time defending champion of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but one of last year’s breakout stars is a U.S. Open whisperer in the making.
With a T5 in last year U.S. Open, Xander Schauffele was the darling of the 2016-17 rookie class at Erin Hills that also included Trey Mullinax’ T9. Schauffele then validated his fit for his national championship with a T6 on Sunday on Long Island. But he has company.
Despite terrific performances both last year and this, Schauffele wasn’t low rookie or low sophomore PGA TOUR member in either U.S. Open. That designation belongs to Tommy Fleetwood, who earned rookie eligibility last season via Special Temporary Membership [STM]. He chased his solo fourth at Erin Hills with a solo second at Shinnecock Hills.
Speaking of STMers, in his third start since qualifying for that status, Kiradech Aphibarnat finished 15th on Sunday. His non-member equivalent of 401.259 FedExCup points would slot him 89th among members.
After two consecutive seasons of close calls, Matthew Fitzpatrick finally cleared the hurdle for STM with a three-way share of 12th place at the U.S. Open. In nine starts in 2017-18, he’s accumulated 272.951 non-member FedExCup points, 4.399 points above the requirement for STM. He’d rank 125th among members. Both Aphibarnrat and Fitzpatrick exhausted their rookie eligibility in a previous season, so neither will appear in the table below.
Among non-members who can be rookies this season if they qualify, Sam Burns posted a four-way T41 at the U.S. Open. With 211.811 FedExCup points in 11 starts, he’s 56.741 points shy of the threshold for STM. He exhausted his last of seven allotted sponsor exemptions at the Wells Fargo Championship. Currently 10th on the Web.com Tour money list, he’ll return to that circuit at this week’s Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth.
Non-members Dylan Frittelli and Shubhankar Sharma also have yet to qualify as rookies. Both missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills. Frittelli has totaled 152.254 FedExCup points in nine starts and would sit 152nd among members. He’s used four sponsor exemptions. Sharma’s 118.494 FedExCup points would position him 170th among members in eight starts, three of which he secured via a sponsor exemption.
LOW ROOKIE: Peter Uihlein, T48. Sixth time. (Previous: T10=CIMB; T5=WGC-HSBC; T37=WGC-Mexico; T17=WGC-Match Play; 5th=Memorial.)
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): None.
* - In the field at the Travelers Championship as of June 17.
# - Top-10 alternate at the Travelers Championship as of June 17.
^ - In the field at the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita's Youth as of June 17.
Through the U.S. Open
|Rank||Name||FedExCup Rank||Best Finish||Starts||Cuts Made||Top 10s|
|4||Peter Uihlein||56||5th/T5 (2)||20||13||4|
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 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 to be a rookie if he has previously played in more than seven (7) Official PGA TOUR Money events as a professional in any prior season.