SOUTH CAROLINA – American Cameron Young was named the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year in a vote by his peers following a season in which he recorded five runner-up finishes, including at the British Open, the US-based circuit said on Wednesday.
Young, who capped a closing 65 with a 17-foot eagle putt to finish second at the British Open, was selected for the Arnold Palmer Award over South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung and American Sahith Theegala, receiving 94 per cent of the membership vote.
“I know the namesake Arnold Palmer obviously was a giant in the game of golf and we have him to thank for a lot of what we do today, what the PGA Tour is,” Young, 25, said ahead of this week’s CJ Cup in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
“Just to be related to that in some small way is very cool. I know we had a very strong rookie class and I know it’s voted by my peers, so it’s a huge honour to be thought of in that way, just to kind of finish the year that way.”
He added that his proudest moment was finishing second at the 150th British Open at the storied St. Andrews.
“They love golf over there,” Young said. “And to walk into kind of the town centre to play the 18th hole at St. Andrews is different than anything you find anywhere else. So just knowing the history there, and to play well that week, was very cool.”
With his five second-place results, Young tied the most by any player in a single season over the last 40 years, with Vijay Singh in 2003 the last to accomplish the feat.
Young also recorded a pair of third-place finishes at the RBC Heritage and PGA Championship, falling one stroke out of a playoff in each.
With US$6.5 million (S$9.3 million) in earnings, the world No. 16 made the most money in a single season by a rookie in PGA Tour history, surpassing the record previously held by Xander Schauffele, who earned US$4.3 million in 2016-17.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan congratulated Young and said: “Cameron’s career has seen a remarkable rise over the last several years, and he quickly became a favourite among fans last season with the style in which he attacks the golf course.
“Receiving the Arnold Palmer Award as PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will certainly hold a special significance for him.”
Young’s award comes after Masters champion and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was named PGA Tour Player Of The Year in September. REUTERS