There are 21 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2019-20. This page provides a subjective ranking updated weekly. The Arnold Palmer Award winner is determined in a vote by PGA TOUR members who make at least 15 starts. The Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Olympic Games count as one of the 15.
When I write and share in various media that El Camaleón Golf Club is a veteran ball-striker’s paradise, I mean it.
Brendon Todd got the message. The average age of the first 12 winners of the Mayakoba Golf Classic was just shy of 35. He’s 34 and four months old. He also was fresh off a statement victory in Bermuda where he ranked fourth in fairways hit and 10th in greens in regulation.
Although it’s a smallest of sample sizes, he missed the cut at Mayakoba as a rookie in 2009 when the tournament was contested in late spring. Still, since the event shifted to the fall with the advent of the wraparound era in 2013, rookies have not made an impact as a class on the Greg Norman design.
Of the 10 who made last week’s cut among the 16 in the field, only Scottie Scheffler (T18) and Bo Hoag (T20) finished inside the top 25. And of the 116 rookies who have competed in the seven editions of the tournament in the fall, only 11 finished better than Scheffler. Harold Varner III’s T5 in 2015 is the only top five among the set, and it’s one of only six top 10s.
It’s not that there wasn’t any noise, however. Chase Seiffert aced the par-3 fourth hole in the opening round. He achieved the feat on the same hole on which Cameron Tringale did the same in the grouping immediately ahead. Seiffert’s hole-in-one is the first by a rookie since Anders Albertson connected on the par-3 ninth hole on Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club in the final round of the Barbasol Championship four months ago.
Tyler McCumber withdrew during his second round at El Camaleón with a sore back. It’s the second mid-tournament WD of the season after Vincent Whaley walked off Golf Club of Houston during his first round, also with a back injury. Whaley will be attempting to return to competition at The RSM Classic.
Tom Lewis finished T13 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player in South Africa. Still 44th in the Race to Dubai standings, the Englishman will conclude his European Tour season at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The rub is that he’ll plummet to the near-bottom of the Korn Ferry Tour graduate reshuffle category because he went 0-for-3 on the PGA TOUR this fall.
LOW ROOKIE: Scottie Scheffler, T18. Third time (previous: T7=Greenbrier, T16=Sanderson Farms).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): Chris Baker (T26).
* - In the field at The RSM Classic as of Nov. 18.
# - In the field at the European Tour's DP World Tour Championship as of Nov. 18.
Through the Mayakoba Golf Classic
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Scottie Scheffler 25 T3 6 6 2 2 *Scott Harrington 20 T2 6 5 1 3 *Harry Higgs 31 2nd 7 4 1 4 Viktor Hovland 74 T10 4 3 1 5 *Bo Hoag 80 T11 7 6 - 6 *Maverick McNealy 70 T17 7 5 - 7 *Rafael Campos 129 T18 6 5 - 8 *Kristoffer Ventura 138 T18 6 3 - 9 *Tyler McCumber 149 T28 6 4 - 10 *Ben Taylor 142 T28 7 3 - 11 *Matthew NeSmith 143 T18 6 2 - 12 *Chris Baker 146 T26 6 2 - 13 *Michael Gligic 160 T28 6 3 - 14 *Sebastian Cappelen 171 T35 6 5 - 15 *Chase Seiffert 184 T41 6 3 - 16 *Nelson Ledesma 179 T28 7 2 - 17 *Doug Ghim T174 T31 4 1 - 18 *Michael Gellerman 177 T39 5 2 - 19 *Vincent Whaley T195 T45 4 1 - 20 *Vince Covello 201 T47 5 1 - 21 #Tom Lewis n/a MC 3 - -
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 for the Arnold Palmer Award if he has previously played in more than seven (7) Official PGA TOUR Money events as a professional in any prior season.