Xander Shauffele, who won the season-ending Tour Championship, was voted the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year by the tour’s membership.
Schauffele, 23, finished third in the FedEx Cup standing after holding off Cup champion Justin Thomas for the title at East Lake in Atlanta. It was the second victory of the season for Schauffele, who also won the Greenbrier Classic in July.
Schauffele, a native of San Diego, joins Jordan Spieth (2013), Daniel Berger (2015) and Emiliano Grillo (2016) as players from the high school class of 2011 to win rookie of the year honors.
Schauffele was a member of the Web.com Tour in 2016, and was in danger of not retaining his PGA Tour card four months ago. He was ranked No. 134 in the rankings in the first week of June, when he was part of a five-man playoff for two spots to get into the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Schauffele won the Greenbrier Classic in July to secure his Tour card for the next three seasons and get into the FedExCup playoffs. However, he need to play the final six holes at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in 6-under just to squeak into the Tour Championship.
“It’s been a wild ride,” he said after becoming the first rookie to win the Tour Championship since it began in 1987. “Five months ago, two months ago, three hours ago, I wasn’t expecting a lot. I hit every goal we’ve ever imagined.”
He won $3.75 million – including $2 million for vaulting to No. 3 in the FexExCup. Schauffele, who entered 2017 ranked No. 299 in the world, jumped 34 spots in the world golf rankings with the victory and is currently No. 32.
Schauffele is not in the field at this week’s Safeway Open, which kicks off the PGA tour’s 2017-18 schedule.