Only in the convoluted, secret sauce methodology world of the PGA Tour, could a pro golfer, who earned his card in 2012, be deemed a rookie with 2 weeks to play in the, um, 2016 season.
But, yep, Si Woo Kim, a 2013 rookie, is now a 2016 rookie.
Apparently, Kim was only in the field for 8 PGA Tour events (one of them a WD) in 2013.
You see, according to PGA Tour’s ridiculous rules, a player’s rookie season would never be defined in any simple to understand kind of way. Like, I don’t know, maybe the season in which he first plays on the PGA Tour with a new PGA Tour card.
Nope. It’s defined “as the season in which he becomes a PGA TOUR member (including Special Temporary Members) and plays in 10 or more events as a member or finishes in the Top 125 on the Official FedExCup Points List, the Top 125 on the Official PGA TOUR Money List or qualifies as a Top 125 Non-member, whichever occurs first.”
Member, Special Temporary Member, Non-Member… Clear. As. Mud.
Wait. It gets better.
The reason Kim only played in 8 events during his rookie year is because rules prohibit a player under 18 from being a PGA Tour member even if they earned a PGA Tour card. Kim had his card but didn’t turn 18 until June 28, 2013. His first official event as a member was not until the Greenbrier Classic in early July.
Here is Kim’s Profile at PGATOUR.com. This should clear it up a bit:
Finished T20 at the Qualifying Tournament but did not turn 18 until June 28, 2013, and because of PGA TOUR rules could not become a TOUR member until then. He was eligible for no more than 12 TOUR events as a non-member on sponsor exemptions (with a maximum of seven), top-10 performances or special exemptions prior to the date he became a regular member. Monday qualifiers did not count toward the 12 events, and he could Monday-qualify into an unlimited number of events.
No wonder why the PGA Tour itself was confused and never listed Si Woo Kim in its own tracking of the 2016 ROY.
H/T Golf Digest