There are 22 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2018-19. 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.
Sungjae Im gave it everything he had, but he came up just short of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
In his final reach for an exemption into the major, Im finished seventh at the RBC Canadian Open. When it was plugged into his Official World Golf Ranking, he rose five spots (to 63rd) and to within six one-hundredths of one point in value of Thorbjørn Olesen at No. 60. Only the top 60 on Sunday night punched tickets for Pebble Beach.
Since having the week off of the Masters, Im hasn’t rested. He competed in each of the last eight PGA TOUR events and his total of 26 starts is two more than any other member. While the spring stretch takes a toll on most first-time members, the wear-and-tear of the road if not the pressure to perform seemed to have an effect as he missed three cuts and finished no better than T31 at the Wells Fargo Championship during the trip. (Only Kyle Jones has been as busy, but he’s moonlighted between an 0-for-4 on TOUR with three cuts made in four appearances on the Web.com Tour during the same time frame. Note that Jones is the only rookie scheduled to appear in this week’s Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS.)
Im’s consolation is that he bested all other rookies in the field at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. It’s a class that now includes Lucas Bjerregaard, who missed the cut.
The 27-year-old Dane accepted Special Temporary Membership after the Masters. Because the RBC Canadian Open was his 10th start of the 2018-19 season, he’s now officially a rookie. You’ll find him in slotted in the table below.
With Bjerregaard’s addition, Adam Long has two fewer low-rookie performances and Martin Trainer is down one. Bjerregaard has totaled six, but half of those occurred in tournaments in which he was the only rookie competing (T69=WGC-HSBC; 69th=WGC-Mexico; 4th-Match Play). His other low-rookie finishes are as follows: T30=PLAYERS; T21=Masters; T16=PGA Championship.
Bjerregaard is one of three rookies in the U.S. Open. While he’s exempt via the top 60 of the OWGR on May 20, K.H. Lee (Columbus) and Sepp Straka (Canada) earned their exemptions at sectional qualifying. Fourteen others attempted and failed at a total of five sites.
A week after USC graduate Justin Suh missed the cut in his professional debut at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, his fellow former Pac-12 foe, Collin Morikawa of Cal, finished T14 at the RBC Canadian Open.
Morikawa banked the equivalent of 52.000 non-member FedExCup points, which would rank him 207th among members. Currently, Sangmoon Bae sits 200th with 61.024 points. Those at 126-200 at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship, including non-members who would otherwise sit inside that bubble, qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals.
LOW ROOKIE: Sungjae Im, 7th. Ninth time (T4=Safeway; T41=CJ CUP; T15=Shriners; T16=Sony; T7=Waste Management; T3=Arnold Palmer; T4=Valspar; T7=Corales).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): José de Jesús Rodríguez (T14), Chris Thompson (T31)
* - In the field at the U.S. Open as of June 9.
# - In the field at the Web.com Tour's Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS as of June 9.
^ - Lucas Bjerregaard has Special Temporary Membership but is ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs unless he wins a tournament. As a result, the number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members.
Through the RBC Canadian Open
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 Cameron Champ 49 Win 19 11 3 2 Adam Long 47 Win 19 7 2 3 Martin Trainer 98 Win 19 7 1 4 Sungjae Im 27 T3 26 18 6 5 *K.H. Lee 91 T3 22 14 2 6 Wyndham Clark 113 T7 20 12 2 7 Hank Lebioda 122 T5 16 11 1 8 *^Lucas Bjerregaard (104) 4th 10 7 1 9 Jim Knous 144 T10 17 10 1 10 Kramer Hickok 146 T10 19 10 1 11 Chase Wright 152 T7 19 7 2 12 Anders Albertson 160 T5 18 6 1 13 Cameron Davis 159 T16 18 9 - 14 *Sepp Straka 162 T13 16 7 - 15 José de Jesús Rodríguez 161 T14 17 8 - 16 Seth Reeves 179 T7 18 7 1 17 Brady Schnell 184 T12 14 5 - 18 Adam Svensson 178 T18 18 7 - 19 Joey Garber 181 T10 15 7 1 20 #Kyle Jones 199 T23 19 5 - 21 John Chin 216 T21 14 4 - 22 Chris Thompson 214 T31 12 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 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.