After setting a number of records throughout his first full PGA Tour season, Xander Schauffele saw off competition from the likes of Wesley Bryan and Patrick Cantlay to be voted Rookie of the Year.
The PGA Tour announced the Californian’s title on Tuesday to cap a season in which he became the first rookie to win a FedExCup Play-Off event (TOUR Championship), the highest-ever finishing rookie in the final FedExCup standings and only the third player to win twice during their rookie season.Embed from Getty Images
The 23-year-old’s season didn’t perhaps start as it was meant to go on. After racking up one top five but a tied 36th and two tied 60ths in his first four starts, Schauffele went on to miss seven cuts of the next 10 events.
A return to form began with another top five at the US Open and climaxed with his maiden Tour title at the Greenbrier Classic in July where he saw off Robert Streb by one shot. From there he missed just one cut, at the PGA Championship, and would go on to claim victory at the season finale TOUR Championship in September with a final hole birdie.
Schauffele finished the season with his two wins, four top 10s and a total of only eight missed cuts from 28 starts; his achievements this year have seen him rocket from 379th to 32nd in the world rankings.
PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, said: “Being recognised by your peers is one of the highest honours a player can receive. Xander’s win at the TOUR Championship during the FedExCup Play-Offs capped off what had already been a remarkable rookie season.”
Schauffele joins a list of recent winners that includes Rickie Fowler (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jordan Spieth (2013) and Daniel Berger (2015).