I never paid attention to what, exactly, constitutes a rookie on the PGA Tour. I had assumed that, like other sports, a rookie is a guy in his first year on the big tour. But that’s not the case. The PGA Tour has some strange notions about what constitutes a rookie. Here’s the official explanation from the PGA Tour.:
… its really quite simple. If a professional plays in his 10th official money event as a PGA TOUR member this season, he is a rookie. If this year he finishes in the top 125 on the Official PGA TOUR Money List for the first time, he is a rookie. If he earns money equal to or greater than 125th place on the TOUR money list, he is a rookie.
So that means that, out of 40 cards granted at q-school, only 17 were for true newbies in 2007, including 2006 q-school medalist George McNeill. Nine Nationwide Tour graduates will be joining their q-school comrades in the rookie ranks. That doesn’t mean some of the players haven’t played in many TOUR events before, as evidenced by Jim Rutledge. The oldest rookie on TOUR in 2006 and second oldest to debut in TOUR history, the 47-year-old has made 31 career starts and eight cuts, but not as an official TOUR member.
Now maybe I’m being a little dense here, but that’s not exactly “quite simple.” It seems that, unlike in other sports, where you’re a rookie UNTIL you’ve gained a modicrum of experience, on the TOUR, you’re a rookie after you’ve done so. For example, in Major League Baseball, you’re a rookie if, prior to the current season, you have accumulated LESS than: 130 at bats or fewer than 50 innings pitched or spent fewer than 45 days on the active roster.
I’m sure I’m reading this all wrong. Maybe someone can make it more clear.