There were 28 rookies on the PGA Tour for the 2022-23 season, the same number that there were a year ago. It’s also the most since the Tour had 35 newbies for the 2011 season.
Of those 28, none made the 30-man field at the Tour Championship, the first time rookies were shut out of East Lake Golf Club since the 2020-21 season. Notably, there have never been more than two rookies in the season finale in the 17-year history of the FedEx Cup.
While plenty of these first-year players made some noise along the way this season, there can only be one Rookie of the Year. Players are still vying for the honor, as the FedEx Cup Fall series events count towards consideration.
There are three events left: the World Wide Technology Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in Bermuda and the RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Ballots for Rookie of the Year will be sent out after the RSM.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the top candidates for the Arnold Palmer Award with their FedEx Cup ranking in parantheses.
Nico Echavarria (120)
Let’s start with the two rookies who took home some tournament hardware this season.
Nico Echavarria shot a final-round 68 at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, in March to win the 2023 Puerto Rico Open. Echavarria finished at 21 under and outlasted Akshay Bhatia by two shots in the opposite-field event.
He did have two other top-25 finishes but what counts against Echavarria is since his win, he’s missed the cut in 15 of his next 17 events. His last made cut was back in April.
Vincent Norrman (74)
Norrman was the only other rookie winner on the PGA Tour this season.
Like Echavarria, Norrman’s win came in an opposite-field event at the Barbasol Championship. A final-hole bogey cost him a win in regulation but he went on to hoist the trophy after surviving a playoff.
Norrman made 17 of 29 cuts and has two top-10s in addition to his win. He made $1.6 million in on-course earnings.
Eric Cole (43)
A 35-year-old rookie, Eric Cole fell just shy of the winner’s circle, coming up short in a playoff with Chris Kirk at the Honda Classic in February.
Of the 28 rookies this season, he had the best FedEx Cup finish (43) on the strength of eight top-25 finishes, with three of those in the top 10.
A workhorse who’s played 36 events, he made the cut in 26 of them, including both majors he played – the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open – as well as the Players Championship. He made $3.4 million this season.
During the FedEx Cup Fall series, he’s posted a solo fourth at the Fortinet Championship, a tie for third at the Shiners Children’s Open and a tie for second at the Zozo Championship.
He leads the Tour in birdies this season with 526, 72 more than the next best player.
Cole is probably the favorite to win ROY honors at this point.
Thomas Detry (60)
Thomas Detry earned his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour finals after several years on the DP World Tour. The 30-year-old Belgian promptly made his first nine cuts on the PGA Tour.
He went on to play in 26 events, making 21 cuts and earning nearly $2.4 million along the way.
Detry had four top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. He played and made the cut in two majors (PGA, British). He tied for 51st at the Zozo Championship, the lone Fall series event he’s played so far.
Detry is clinging to the 60th spot, which is a big deal, as those in the FedEx Cup Fall points standings 51 through 60 qualify for two signature events in 2024, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational.
Taylor Montgomery (52)
Taylor Montgomery played 27 events and made 19 cuts with four top-10 finishes. He fell short of winning but did bank $2.6 million in earnings.
In his first event of the season, he notched a solo third-place finish. He followed that with T-9, T-15, T-13 and a T-10 and he was off and running. After the calendar changed to 2023, Montgomery had a solo fifth at the American Express.
The back half of his campaign got rough, however and he missed four straight cuts before making the weekend at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, where he tied for 37th. He’ gone MC-T35-T16 in three Fall series events.