2022-23 Golf Draft Kit: Rookie Watch

2022-23 Golf Draft Kit: Rookie Watch

This article is part of our Golf Draft Kit series.

A new crop of rookies is ready to join the PGA Tour by virtue of finishing top-25 in either the Korn Ferry Tour Regular season or Finals.

Below is a rundown of the first-year tour players, ranked by 2022-23 projected earnings.

Golfer2022-23 ProjectedOutlook
Thomas Detry$2,000,000Detry's T4 at the Albertsons Boise Open was good enough to earn the Belgian his first PGA Tour card, but his 2021-22 campaign also included four top-25 finishes in just five starts at the PGA Tour level. He also tied for 34th at the Open Championship, ultimately averaging an impressive $82K in official earnings per event throughout those five appearances. The 29-year-old was a standout at the University of Illinois during his college days, winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013 and Big Ten Golfer of the Year in 2015.
Taylor Montgomery$1,900,000Montgomery finished fifth on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List with nine total top-10s in just 17 events played, highlighted by runner-up finishes at the AdventHealth Championship and the Price Cutter Charity Championship. He paced the KFT in birdie average with 4.88 tweeters per round and he also ranked first in actual scoring average (68.36). Montgomery tied for 11th at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open in late January when he gained 5.4 strokes with the flat stick. He eventually went on to make his second career U.S. Open appearance in June after qualifying via sectionals.
Carl Yuan$1,800,000Yuan landed atop the

A new crop of rookies is ready to join the PGA Tour by virtue of finishing top-25 in either the Korn Ferry Tour Regular season or Finals.

Below is a rundown of the first-year tour players, ranked by 2022-23 projected earnings.

Golfer2022-23 ProjectedOutlook
Thomas Detry$2,000,000Detry's T4 at the Albertsons Boise Open was good enough to earn the Belgian his first PGA Tour card, but his 2021-22 campaign also included four top-25 finishes in just five starts at the PGA Tour level. He also tied for 34th at the Open Championship, ultimately averaging an impressive $82K in official earnings per event throughout those five appearances. The 29-year-old was a standout at the University of Illinois during his college days, winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013 and Big Ten Golfer of the Year in 2015.
Taylor Montgomery$1,900,000Montgomery finished fifth on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List with nine total top-10s in just 17 events played, highlighted by runner-up finishes at the AdventHealth Championship and the Price Cutter Charity Championship. He paced the KFT in birdie average with 4.88 tweeters per round and he also ranked first in actual scoring average (68.36). Montgomery tied for 11th at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open in late January when he gained 5.4 strokes with the flat stick. He eventually went on to make his second career U.S. Open appearance in June after qualifying via sectionals.
Carl Yuan$1,800,000Yuan landed atop the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List with three runner-up finishes and a win at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in March. His ninth top-10 result of the season came at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, where he climbed to a career-best 101st in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 25-year-old from China also ranked top-10 among his KFT peers in a handful of season-long metrics, including scoring average, birdie average, GIR percentage and driving distance. Having previously made only four career starts on the PGA Tour, Yuan qualifies for rookie status throughout the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.
Dean Burmester$1,775,000Burmester's summer was highlighted by back-to-back top-15s at the Genesis Scottish Open and the Open Championship in July, but it was his performance throughout the Korn Ferry Tour Finals that earned him a PGA Tour card for 2022-23. The 33-year-old South African notched top-5 results at both the Albertsons Boise Open and the KFT Championship to comfortably join the Finals 25. He resides top 70 in the Official World Golf Ranking ahead of the upcoming fall series.
Austin Eckroat$1,750,000Despite ranking top-10 on the Korn Ferry Tour in scoring average, GIR percentage and birdie average this past season, Eckroat finished outside of the top 25 in the regular season points list. However, the 23-year-old Oklahoma State product clutched up with a runner-up effort at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship to earn his PGA Tour card for the first time. He appeared in nine PGA Tour events over the past two seasons, notably securing top-25s at the Bermuda Championship and the 3M Open in 2021.
Davis Thompson$1,700,000Ranking fourth on the Korn Ferry Tour in total driving and 14th in ball striking, Thompson finished 14th on the regular season points list and he won early-June's REX Hospital Open to secure his maiden PGA Tour card. The 23-year-old University of Georgia product retains rookie eligibility despite 13 career starts at the PGA Tour level, notably notching a top-25 as an amateur at the 2019 RSM Classic. He's a former No. 1 player in the Amateur World Golf Ranking and was twice named first-team All-American in college. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder profiles as a potential ROY candidate if the short game cooperates against tougher competition.
Harry Hall$1,600,000Hall secured his second career Korn Ferry Tour victory in 2022 at the NV5 Invitational late May, which preceded another top-5 finish the following week at the REX Hospital Open. The 25-year-old Englishman closed out his KFT campaign with a T3 at the KFT Championship, bringing his official earnings to $288K for the season. Hall also posted a top-10 finish at the 2021 Shriners Children's Open and he made his major championship debut this June at the U.S. Open.
Kevin Yu$1,200,000Yu ranked second on the Korn Ferry Tour in total driving throughout the 2022 season, earning his first PGA Tour card after finishing 20th on the KFT's regular season points list. The 24-year-old ASU product placed runner-up at May's Simmons Bank Open and he added another second-place effort again in July at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. He also appeared in six PGA Tour events this past season, notably tying for seventh at the Puerto Rico Open where he tallied 15 birdies and two eagles.
Seonghyeon Kim$1,100,000Kim had already recorded a trio of top-3 finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour by the end of March, so his summer was relatively stress-free with his first PGA Tour card clinched fairly early for 2022-23. Nonetheless, he added two more top-15 results during the KFT Finals at the Albertsons Boise Open and the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, so he made nearly $300K through 22 events on the KFT. Kim also made one start on the PGA Tour during the 2021-22 season, tying for 32nd at the limited-field CJ Cup. At just 23 years old, Kim already owns several impressive professional wins on an international stage, including victories at the 2021 Japan PGA Championship and the 2020 KPGA Championship.
Augusto Nunez$1,000,000Nobody recorded a higher GIR percentage than Nunez throughout the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, in which he posted a top-25 result in half of his 24 starts, including nine top-10s en route to a sixth-place finish in the regular season points list. The Argentinian's summer was highlighted by five consecutive top-6 finishes from the BMW Charity Pro-Am through the Price Cutter Charity Championship, though he struggled during the KFT Finals with results of MC-T53-MC after his PGA Tour card for 2022-23 was already locked up. Nunez has one previous start on his resume at the PGA Tour level, placing T60 at the 2018 Corales Championship.
Brandon Matthews$900,000Matthews' power off the tee allowed him to rank fourth on the Korn Ferry Tour in total eagles and fifth in par-5 scoring throughout the 2022 season, in which he took home some hardware with a win at the Astara Golf Championship in mid-February on the heels of a T2 at the Panama Championship. He also made the cut in his major championship debut at the U.S. Open in June, though he fell to 60th place while playing his final 36 holes in 16-over-par. Matthews' 2022 campaign included three other starts at the PGA Tour level, missing cuts at the Wells Fargo Championship, 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Ben Griffin$850,000A two-time All-American Scholar at UNC with a BA in economics, Griffin spent time working as a mortgage loan officer in 2021 before earning status on the Korn Ferry Tour, which he parlayed into official earnings of $262,549 through 22 events played during the 2022 season. Griffin tallied three second-place finishes en route to his eighth-place ranking in the KFT Regular Season Eligibility Points List, and he also ranked eighth in putting average. Griffin made an additional $357,700 with a fourth-place effort at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship in early August where he played his final 36 holes in 12-under-par, though he missed five consecutive cuts to close out the KFT campaign.
Vincent Norrman$825,000Norrman earned second-team All-American honors in his final year with NCAA eligibility at Florida State during the 2020-21 season. The 24-year-old Swede then finished 23rd on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour's regular season points list in his first full season as a professional, quickly earning a PGA Tour card for 2022-23. His 2022 KFT campaign was highlighted by a runner-up effort at the REX Hospital Open in early June, though Norrman also ranked second in GIR percentage as he paced the KFT in ball striking. Norrman could rapidly gain fantasy relevance if he's able to make improvements with the flat stick.
Brent Grant$815,000After missing three consecutive cuts to close out the Korn Ferry Tour's regular season outside the top 25 in the points list despite winning the Simmons Bank Open earlier in the year, Grant went T32-T34-11 during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals to earn a PGA Tour card for the first time at 26 years old. He made two appearances on the PGA Tour this past season, missing the cut at the Sony Open and the Farmers Insurance Open. On the KFT, Grant ranked second in ball striking and fourth in GIR percentage.
Kevin Roy$800,000A runner-up finish at the Wichita Open in mid-June sparked a streak of six consecutive cuts made for Roy to close out his 2022 regular season on the Korn Ferry Tour ranked just inside the top 25 of the points list, thus earning a PGA Tour card for the first time in his career. The 32-year-old also ranked top 20 on the KFT in both GIR percentage and birdie average. He led the Korn Ferry Tour in par-5 scoring as well, so Roy could be a name to monitor as a potential punt play in daily fantasy contests early in the 2022-23 season.
Erik Barnes$750,000Barnes racked up seven top-10 finishes and 11 top-25s on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022, ultimately finishing 15th on the regular season points list before adding a T4 during the KFT Finals at the Albertsons Boise Open. He ranked 10th on the KFT in driving distance and 12th in birdie average on the way to securing his first PGA Tour card at 34 years old. He's made only three previous appearances at the PGA Tour level, including one made cut at the 2020 Houston Open.
Harrison Endycott$725,000Endycott posted two rounds of 64 or better en route to a dominant victory at the Korn Ferry Tour's Huntsville Championship in early May, which earned him a PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season despite tallying only six total top-25s on the KFT in 2022. He ranked 22nd among his KFT peers in ball striking, but Endycott fell to just 80th in birdie average due to struggles with the putter.
Nicolas Echavarria$700,000The 28-year-old Colombian played his collegiate golf at the University of Arkansas before eventually appearing in 90 Korn Ferry Tour events since 2019, tallying 18 total top-25 finishes in the process. Perhaps none were more important than his T5 at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, however, which earned him a PGA Tour card for the first time. Echavarria ranked eighth on the KFT in putting average and 16th in par-4 scoring.
Philip Knowles$700,000Knowles had zero career top-10 finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour ahead of the regular season finale, but he tied for 10th at the Pinnacle Bank Championship before tying for runner-up honors at the Albertsons Boise Open, which earned him a PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 campaign. This past season on the KFT, Knowles ranked fourth in birdie average and fifth in driving accuracy en route to 13 made cuts in 19 starts.
Matti Schmid$700,000Schmid made two appearances on the PGA Tour in July when he tied for eighth at the Barbasol Championship before making another cut one week later at the Barracuda Championship. The 24-year-old Louisville product earned his PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 later in the summer via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, placing T37-T9 at the Albertsons Boise Open and the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. Schmid otherwise spent a majority of his 2022 campaign on the DP World Tour where he ranks ninth in driving distance.
Trevor Werbylo$650,000The 24-year-old University of Arizona product won the Lake Charles Championship in late March just one week after tying for third at the Chitimacha Lousiana Open, which helped propel him to a 16th-place finish in the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List. Werbylo also appeared in a trio of PGA Tour events this past season, highlighted by a made cut at the Puerto Rico Open. Werbylo failed to record a single top-50 result throughout his final six starts on the KFT, however, so expectations aren't especially high as he heads into the fall series as a rookie.
Sam Stevens$630,000Stevens made the cut in 18 of 23 events played on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022, but it was his clutch T12 at the KFT Championship that earned him a PGA Tour card for 2022-23. He ultimately ranked third among his KFT peers in GIR percentage and 12th in ball striking, but just 74th in par-5 scoring. Sanders managed to make the cut in each of his two starts at the PGA Tour level earlier this year, placing T55 at the Honda Classic and T49 at the U.S. Open in his major championship debut.
Tyson Alexander$625,000Alexander successfully defended his title at the Korn Ferry Tour's Veritex Bank Championship in April, and this time around, the win was good enough to ultimately earn him a PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season. He made the cut in 16 of 23 starts during his 2022 campaign on the KFT, though Alexander ranked just 97th in ball striking. Nonetheless, he's earned rookie status on the PGA Tour at 34 years old.
Eric Cole$615,000Cole paced the Korn Ferry Tour in putts per round while ranking second in putting average and third in Birdie or Better conversion percentage throughout the 2022 season, but his concerning ball-striking metrics indicate a potentially difficult transition to the PGA Tour level. Nonetheless, he tied for the third at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship to earn his card for the 2022-23 campaign. He's made three previous appearances on the PGA Tour, including a top-25 finish at the 2021 Corales Championship.
Trevor Cone$605,000Cone managed only four top-25 finishes through 23 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022, but he found a ceiling outcome at the AdventHealth Championship in May where he won by one stroke. He hadn't won on the KFT since 2018 prior to his life-changing victory this year in Kansas City, which allowed him to earn a PGA Tour card for the first time in his career. Cone ranked eighth on the KFT in driving distance and 11th in GIR percentage, but he fell to 131st or worse in both putts per round and scrambling.
Tano Goya$600,000Goya made the cut in 15 of 25 starts throughout the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, but he saved his best finish for last, tying for fifth at the KFT Championship to earn his PGA Tour card for the first time. The 34-year-old from Argentina hasn't appeared in a PGA Tour event since placing dead last at the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he ranked 16th on the KFT in ball striking this past season.
Kyle Westmoreland$600,000Westmoreland completed five years of service with the United States Air Force before eventually earning a PGA Tour card via the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, highlighted by a T9 at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. The 30-year-old ranked 13th on the KFT in driving distance en route to six top-25s in 26 starts, though he also missed 12 cuts. He's made the cut in one of five career appearances at the PGA Tour level, tying for 68th at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Carson Young$600,000Young notched only one top-10 finish in 25 starts during the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, but he made it count with a win at the Panama Championship back in early February. He ultimately missed 13 total cuts, but still managed to earn a PGA Tour card for 2022-23 thanks to his run during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which included top-20 performances at the Albertsons Boise Open and the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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