The silly season debate on
who deserves to be the Rookie of the Year will make for an interesting few weeks during the PGA Tour’s offseason this winter, as both Eric Cole and recent winner Ludvig Aberg are the frontrunners vying for the honor.
The PGA Tour has given the Arnold Palmer Award to its Rookie of the Year annually since Robert Gamez was the inaugural winner in 1990. Many a major champion have earned the honor – including the likes of Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler, to name a few – but a few of the winners may surprise you.
Meet all 33 winners of the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year Award.
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Robert Gamez watches the ball fly during the 1992 Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. (Photo: Gary Newkirk /Allsport)
John Daly with the trophy after winning the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana in August 1991. (Photo: Stephen Munday/Getty Images)
Mark Carnevale sends a drive down the fairway at the Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
Vijay Singh hits a shot during the 1993 U.S. Open at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. (Photo: Gary Newkirk/Allsport)
Ernie Els holds up his trophy after winning the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, on June 20, 1994.
Woody Austin at the Kapalua Invitational in Maui, Hawaii. (Photo: J.D. Cuban/Allsport)
PGA Tour rookie Tiger Woods holds a check after winning the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational at TPC at Summerlin. (Photo: Lennox McLendon, Associated Press)
Stewart Cink poses with the trophy after the Canon Greater Open at the TPC at River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo: Craig Jones/Allsport)
Steve Flesch chips out of a bunker during The Colonial at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport)
Carlos Franco plays with a ball before the million dollar golf challenge in 1999. (Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
Michael Clark II follows his drive during the Mercedes Championships at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. (Photo: Harry How/Allsport)
Charles Howell III waves to the crowd during the final round of the 2001 Greater Milwaukee Open at Brown Deer Park GC in Milwuakee, Wisconsin. (Photo: Scott Halleran/Allsport)
Jonathan Byrd poses with the trophy after winning the Buick Challenge at Callaway Gardens on October 27, 2002 in Pine Mountain, Georgia. (Photo: Getty Images)
2003 Open Champion Ben Curtis oposes with the Claret Jug onboard the high speed London to Sandwich Open Championship train service during an R&A media day at Royal St. George’s on May 25, 2011 in Sandwich, England. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Todd Hamilton kisses the claret jug following his victory in the 133rd Open Championship after a playoff at the Royal Troon Golf Club on July 18, 2004 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Sean O’Hair holds the trophy after winning the 2005 John Deere Championship at TPC at Deere Run. (Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Trevor Immelman holds the winner’s check after winning the 2006 Cialis Western Open at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. (Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Brandt Snedeker poses with the trophy after winning the Wyndham Championship at Forest Oaks Country Club on August 19, 2007 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Andres Romero follows through on his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club. (Photo: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports)
Marc Leishman waves during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship held at TPC Boston on September 6, 2009 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler awaits his turn on the 16th tee box during the practice round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. (Photo: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports)
Keegan Bradley reacts after making a birdie putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. (Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
John Huh on the tee of the third during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. (Photo: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports)
Jordan Spieth reacts after winning the John Deere Classic, Sunday, July 14, 2013, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Spieth defeated Zach Johnson and David Hearn on the fifth hole of a playoff. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Chesson Hadley in Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Lodge and Club.
Daniel Berger hits his drive on the first hole during the final round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club – Gold Course. (Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Emiliano Grillo reacts on the range during a practice round prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Xander Schauffele at the 2017 Greenbrier Classic
Aaron Wise won the 2018 AT&T Bryson Nelson by three shots for his first PGA Tour Victory. (Getty Images)
Sungjae Im acknowledges the gallery on the 2nd green during the first round of the CJ Cup @Nine Bridges at the Club at Nine Bridges on October 17, 2019 in Jeju, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler holds up his ball and score card in celebration after scoring a 59 during the second round of the 2020 Northern Trust at TPC Boston on August 21, 2020 in Norton, Massachusetts. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Will Zalatoris plays his shot from the ninth tee during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 01, 2021 at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cameron Young of the United States plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 03, 2022 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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