Where we left off: Who was in position to win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year?

viktor hovland

Viktor Hovland was the front-runner for Rookie of the Year before the PGA Tour took a break.

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The PGA Tour returns June 9 after a nearly three-month shutdown due to the spread of the coronavirus. It was quite the break, but golf is back long before other sports are returning. So, what was life like on Tour before the shutdown? Let this series remind you of where we left off.

Who was the favorite for Rookie of the Year?

With PGA Tour rookies playing a number of events in the fall and another handful in the spring, we actually had a good idea of who was legitimately in the running for the ROY award. Even though there are still 14 weeks of events to be played, it’s a two-horse race at the moment, starting with Viktor Hovland.

The Norwegian sensation admitted that he sucked at chipping in a viral moment earlier this year, but that came following his first PGA Tour victory at the Puerto Rico Open. Big things are expected out of Hovland, sure, but it’s never easy bagging that first W, and that’s something no other Tour rookie has at the moment. 

Is it a “big” win, though? The Puerto Rico Open is an opposite field event played at the same time as the WGC-Mexico Championship, which boasts a much stronger field. The only reason that’s worth mentioning is because that’s where Scottie Scheffler was playing.

Scheffler has jumped onto the scene this Tour season with a T7 in week 1, a T3 at the Bermuda Championship in November and a third-place finish at The American Express. Scheffler is still looking for that first win, but he’s amassed four top 10s and is currently in the top 20 in the FedEx Cup Standings. He has as good a chance as any rookie right now to advance to the Tour Championship. In the past, often just one rookie has advanced that far.

As for other contenders, Harry Higgs is the only obvious one at the moment. Higgs finished solo second ahead of Scheffler at the Bermuda Open and has made 11 of 15 cuts.  

Sean Zak

Golf.com Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine, currently working on a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews. You can read about those travels here and catch his latest thoughts on the Drop Zone Podcast:

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