Hey, Rook: A guide to PGA Tour's newest crop


The FedEx Cup has yet to collect dust on Jordan Spieth's mantle, but a new PGA Tour season is already upon us - and with it a new rookie class is ushered onto the big stage.

Last season's rookie crop included a win from Nick Taylor, a Tour Championship appearance from Daniel Berger and several top finishes from players like Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Zac Blair. This season 17 players have Tour cards for the first time, and 10 of them will be making their debuts at this week's Frys.com Open.

Here is a look at the Tour's newest members, fresh out of orientation and heading to the first tee:

Patton Kizzire

Age: 29

How he got here: Kizzire was the best player this year on the Web.com Tour. The former Auburn standout took a few years to get his footing as a pro, but he won twice this year and is fully exempt as the top earner from last season. He plans to get married Oct. 17 and will make his season debut next week in Las Vegas.

Dawie van der Walt

Age: 32

How he got here: The burly South African has played all over the world, but he finally broke through this year with two wins on the Web.com Tour. He led the circuit in GIR percentage during the regular season and finished third on the money list.

Emiliano Grillo

Age: 23

How he got here: Grillo is part of the celebrated high school graduating class of 2011, and he grew up playing junior golf against the likes of Spieth, Thomas, Berger and Ollie Schneiderjans. The Argentine lost in a playoff at the Puerto Rico Open but capped a run through the Web.com Tour Finals with a win at the season finale earlier this month. He is among the pre-season favorites for Rookie of the Year.

Smylie Kaufman

Age: 23

How he got here: After a successful stint at LSU alongside fellow Tour members John Peterson and Andrew Loupe, Kaufman breezed through his rookie season on the Web.com Tour. He won an event, finished sixth on the regular-season money list and will start this season at No. 13 in the 50-player priority rankings.

Bronson Burgoon

Age: 28

How he got here: Burgoon was one of several players to play in all 25 events on the Web.com Tour, highlighted by his playoff loss in Nova Scotia. He finished 18th on the regular-season money list to earn his card, then boosted his priority ranking with a runner-up finish at the third Web.com Tour Finals event.

Brett Stegmaier

Age: 32

How he got here: After a pair of wrist surgeries, Stegmaier gave up the professional game in 2009 to become an assistant pro. But the fire was rekindled in the former Florida standout, and he returned to the Web.com Tour. He finished seventh in the final regular-season event just to qualify for Finals, then opened the posteseason with back-to-back top-10 finishes to clinch his card.

Rhein Gibson

Age: 29

How he got here: Perhaps best known for shooting a 55 during a mini-tour event, recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the all-time lowest round, Gibson had a solid Web.com Tour season but fell short of earning his card via regular-season earnings. The Aussie opened the Web.com Tour Finals with a missed cut, but he finished T-21 or better in the final three events to seal his card.

Hiroshi Iwata

Age: 34

How he got here: Iwata finished T-3 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November, earning enough non-member FedEx Cup points to qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals. Once there, he opened with a T-4 finish to earn his card. He also finished T-21 at the PGA Championship (where he shot 63 in Round 2) and T-18 at the Web.com Tour Championship.

Abraham Ancer

Age: 24

How he got here: Ancer played in every event this year on the Web.com Tour, defeating Burgoon in a playoff in Canada for his lone win. He finished No. 11 on the regular-season money list to lock up a promotion to the PGA Tour, but saw his priority ranking fall to No. 31 after missing the cut in all four Finals events.

Harold Varner III

Age: 25

How he got here: Varner finished No. 25 on the regular-season money list, earning his card by a mere $943, becoming the first African-American to earn a PGA Tour card through the developmental circuit. He added a pair of top-25 finishes during the Web.com Tour Finals and will start the season at No. 33 in the priority rankings.

Michael Kim

Age: 22

How he got here: Kim had a decorated college career at Cal, where he was the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world and won the Haskins and Nicklaus awards in 2013. After failing to earn his card via the Web.com Tour in 2014, Kim got the job done this past year by finishing No. 13 on the regular-season money list.

Andrew Landry

Age: 28

How he got here: Landry won early in the Web.com Tour season in Colombia, one of five top-25 finishes this season. He finished No. 21 on the regular-season money list to earn his card, but dropped to No. 45 in the priority rankings after his best finish in four Finals events was T-47.

Thomas Aiken

Age: 32

How he got here: The South African has had a decorated career on the European Tour, including three wins, and qualified for the Web.com Tour Finals via non-member FedEx Cup points. While he missed his first three cuts, Aiken finished T-5 at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship, effectively turning one good week into a PGA Tour card.

Lucas Lee

Age: 28

How he got here: Lee had a pair of runner-up finishes among his 17 Web.com Tour starts this season and finished 23rd on the regular-season money list. That was good enough to earn his card, although he didn't earn a dollar in the Web.com Tour Finals after withdrawing from all three events in which he entered.

Rob Oppenheim

Age: 35

How he got here: Oppenheim was the feel-good story from Web.com Tour Finals. After missing his card via regular-season earnings by $943, he appeared edged out again after wrapping up the Web.com Tour Championship. But a late shuffle in the standings gave him the 25th and final card available, as Oppenheim finished $101 ahead of Eric Axley on the Finals money list.

Patrick Cantlay

Age: 23

How he got here: Cantlay actually earned his card in 2013, but a vertebrae fracture has kept him largely sidelined since. He still qualifies as a rookie and has 10 starts left on a major medical extension to earn $624,746 to keep his card.

Joe Affrunti

Age: 34

How he got here: Like Cantlay, Affrunti has struggled with injuries. He earned his card in 2011 but has played sparingly since because of a left shoulder ailment. He has four starts remaining with which to earn $568,234.