There are 26 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.
The FedExCup won’t be determined until the conclusion of this week’s TOUR Championship, but the Arnold Palmer Award may have been sewn up at the BMW Championship that ended on Sunday.
Even though Sungjae Im remains winless, all he has to do is remind voters that the last rookie standing in the FedExCup Playoffs always emerges as the Rookie of the Year, this despite that five of his fellow rookies connected for victories once this season.
Thanks to a T11 at Medinah Country Club – his class-high 11th low-rookie performance of 2018-19; K.H. Lee sits second in that stat with seven – Im will be his class’ only representative at East Lake. Not only did all of the other four rookies at the BMW finished outside the top 30 on that leaderboard, they finished (well) outside the top 30 in the FedExCup.
Im has one last opportunity to convince voters who value wins over bodies of work and/or length of survival in the Playoffs. Of course, he also remains in pursuit of a goal that would fulfill him personally.
Should Im win the TOUR Championship, he’d become the second rookie to win a Playoffs event (Xander Schauffele, 2017 TOUR Championship). There also have been four runner-up finishes by rookies in the Playoffs.
Im, Abraham Ancer, Tommy Fleetwood and Jason Kokrak are the only non-winners in the field of 30 at East Lake. Each will be attempting to join Camilo Villegas (2008 BMW) as a first-time winner in Playoffs history.
As the second leg of the Playoffs was contested, the seventh edition of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals began in Columbus, Ohio, with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards for 2019-20 are up for grabs in the three-event series.
Of the 12 outgoing PGA TOUR rookies who teed it up at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course, six made the cut. They were led by Kramer Hickok (T19) and Adam Svensson (T23). All 12 are scheduled to compete at this week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco.
Of those who clinched their 2019-20 PGA TOUR cards on Sunday, only England’s Ben Taylor (T2) will qualify as a rookie. (Winner Scottie Scheffler, who will be a TOUR rookie, already secured his card via the regular season.) Taylor brings the incoming class to 16.
The foursome at T7 is on the bubble, and it includes South Africa’s Justin Harding. He’s never had PGA TOUR membership, but he made 12 starts on TOUR in 2018-19, so he no longer has rookie eligibility.
The next rookie-eligible golfers beneath Taylor are Jamie Arnold and Viktor Hovland, both of whom finished in a three-way T11.
LOW ROOKIE: Sungjae Im, T11. Eleventh time. (Previous: T4=Safeway; T41=CJ CUP; T15=Shriners; T16=Sony; T7=Waste Management; T3=Arnold Palmer; T4=Valspar; T7=Corales; 7th=Canadian; T6=Wyndham.)
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): None.
* - In the field at the TOUR Championship as of Aug. 18.
# - In the field at the Korn Ferry Tour's Albertson Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco as of Aug. 18.
^ - Accepted Special Temporary Membership and ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs. The number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members.
& - Declined Special Temporary Membership and ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs. The number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members.
Through the BMW Championship
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Sungjae Im 24 T3 34 25 7 2 Collin Morikawa 59 Win 9 9 3 3 Cameron Champ 62 Win 26 14 3 4 Adam Long 69 Win 27 11 2 5 Wyndham Clark 64 T5 27 19 3 6 Matthew Wolff 74 Win 7 6 1 7 &Matt Wallace (98) T3 12 10 2 8 K.H. Lee 108 T3 30 16 2 9 Sepp Straka 115 3rd 25 13 1 10 ^Lucas Bjerregaard (122) 4th 14 9 1 11 ^Doc Redman (120) 2nd 6 4 1 12 Martin Trainer 132 Win 25 7 1 13 #Hank Lebioda 148 T5 23 15 1 14 #Chase Wright 156 T7 26 11 2 15 #Cameron Davis 160 T11 25 13 - 16 #Kramer Hickok 161 T10 26 13 1 17 Jim Knous 166 T10 18 10 1 18 #Joey Garber 170 T7 22 10 2 19 #Adam Svensson 167 T15 25 11 - 20 #Anders Albertson 172 T5 25 10 1 21 #José de Jesús Rodríguez 177 T11 23 10 - 22 #Seth Reeves 188 T7 25 11 1 23 #Kyle Jones 187 T15 26 10 - 24 #John Chin 186 T3 21 7 1 25 #Brady Schnell 196 T12 21 6 - 26 Chris Thompson 222 T31 19 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.