NAPA, Calif. – Emiliano Grillo became the third member of the class of 2011 to win the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year Award.
The award – given to the Argentine at the Safeway Open, site of his first Tour victory last season – was handed out after a tight race, with Grillo, Si Woo Kim and Smylie Kaufman in the hunt to claim the honor through the Tour Championship.
Kaufman won the week after Grillo last season in Las Vegas, while Kim won the Wyndham Championship, lost a playoff at the Barbasol Championship and finished 17th on the FedEx Cup points list.
Grillo, however, separated himself from the pack with a solid season at the majors, finishing inside the top 20 in three of his four starts. He went on to complete his first season 11th on the FedEx Cup points list.
“This one [Rookie of the Year], I had to work really hard,” Grillo said. “I kind of knew it was going to be a battle between me and [Kaufman]. It was a very long year. I played really well after the Masters, I had some good tournaments after it and then I did my job right and I kind of earned it.”
Grillo joined Jordan Spieth (2013) and Daniel Berger (2015) as the third member from the high school class of 2011 to win the award.