There are 29 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2016-17. 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: All six rookies who advanced to the BMW Championship were facing the same test, not just at Conway Farms but also in the context of checking what historically has come to be the most important box en route to the Rookie of the Year award: to be the last man standing.
Mackenzie Hughes (31st), Xander Schauffele (32nd), Wesley Bryan (37th), Patrick Cantlay (41st), Ollie Schniederjans (50th) and Grayson Murray (63rd) all were positioned outside the bubble to qualify for the TOUR Championship into which only the top 30 in points at the conclusion of the BMW are exempt. If none advanced, Rookie of the Year voting could get complicated. As it turned out, it might be Schauffele’s to lose.
Only Schauffele and Cantlay played their way into the exclusive field in Atlanta, the former with a T20 to rise to 26th in points, the latter with a T9 to climb to 29th. However, Schauffele is the predominant favorite to be Rookie of the Year since he has a PGA TOUR victory, that coming at The Greenbrier Classic in early July.
Cantlay’s rookie eligibility dates back to 2013-14, but a back injury limited him to just five starts that season and only one in 2014-15. He’s been nothing short of compelling ever since he spun a 60 as an amateur at the Travelers Championship in 2011. He’s padded that reputation in the Playoffs in which he’s been low (or co-low) rookie in every event, but he might need to win the TOUR Championship to earn Rookie of the Year votes over his fellow native of Southern California. The last golfer to capture his first TOUR title at the TOUR Championship was Chad Campbell in 2003 (at Champions GC in Houston).
Meanwhile, the second leg of the Web.com Tour Finals was contested last week. Joel Dahmen’s T25 paced seven of the 11 outgoing PGA TOUR rookies who made the cut at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco. He’s now 36th in earnings in the Finals. At 19th, only Seamus Power is currently inside the top 25 to regain TOUR status in 2017-18. Overall, 2016-17 rookies are 13-for-22 in these Finals with two top 25s. Three missed the cut in both of the first two stops.
LOW ROOKIE: Patrick Cantlay, T9. Fifth time (2nd, Valspar; T35, Memorial; T10, THE NORTHERN TRUST; T13, Dell Technologies).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): None.
* - In the field at the TOUR Championship as of Sept. 17.
# - In the field at the Web.com Tour's DAP Championship as of Sept. 17.
% - In the field at the European Tour's Portugal Masters as of Sept. 17.
^ - Thomas Pieters, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton accepted Special Temporary Membership, but each is ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs. As a result, the number in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where each would rank among members through the Wyndham Championship.
+ - Alex Noren didn't accept Special Temporary Membership, but his equivalent of non-member FedExCup points would have ranked inside the top 125 among members at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship.
Through the BMW Championship
Rank Name FedExCup Rank Best Finish Starts Cuts Made Top 10s 1 *Xander Schauffele 26 Win 27 19 3 2 Mackenzie Hughes 36 Win 31 22 2 3 Wesley Bryan 41 Win 28 19 5 4 Grayson Murray 66 Win 30 18 2 5 Cody Gribble 87 Win 28 11 2 6 *Patrick Cantlay 29 2nd 12 12 4 7 Ollie Schniederjans 60 2nd 28 19 5 8 %^Thomas Pieters (53) T2 12 7 4 9 ^Tommy Fleetwood (71) 2nd 10 8 3 10 ^Tyrrell Hatton (100) T4 (2) 13 8 3 11 J.J. Spaun 97 T4 29 18 3 12 C.T. Pan 88 T2 29 14 3 13 +Alex Noren (110) T5 11 9 3 14 Ryan Blaum 107 T6 29 22 2 15 Richy Werenski 106 P2 26 16 3 16 Dominic Bozzelli 119 T3 24 10 3 17 #Seamus Power 130 T10 25 19 1 18 #J.T. Poston 132 T10 28 20 1 19 #Trey Mullinax 137 T9 28 16 1 20 #Rick Lamb 150 T3 19 8 1 21 #Julian Etulain 161 T5 22 13 1 22 #Sebastian Muñoz 153 T3 17 8 1 23 #Ryan Brehm 164 T18 25 17 - 24 #Joel Dahmen 176 T9 16 7 1 25 Andrew Johnston 189 T10 13 8 1 26 #Brian Campbell 180 T12 20 7 - 27 #Nicholas Lindheim 197 T23 21 9 - 28 #Brett Drewitt 196 T27 19 9 - 29 Bobby Wyatt 230 T57 20 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, the Top 125 on the Official PGA TOUR Money 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.