Quick trivia for you. Who’s the last player to start a tournament by shooting an 8 over 44 on the front 9, yet finish T2 at 7 under? Your answer? PGA Tour rookie John Huh who somehow managed to shrug off a front 9, 44 that a few of us might have been able to shoot, and play the next 63 holes at 15 under. Also consider that Mr. Huh managed to pull off this feat at the hardest golf course (according to a scoring average, of 73.655) on the Tour.
It seems as the era of Tiger Woods has passed us by, new players and especially tour rookies are finding success at much earlier stages of their careers. Branden Grace of the European Tour has already won 3 events this season after just graduating from Q- school last year. Through the first three events on the European Tour, Grace had won two of them, including beating Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a playoff for his second title. That is beyond impressive. Back across the pond we have seen rookies find early and continued success on the PGA Tour. Last years PGA Champion Keegan Bradley of course comes to mind, but don’t forget some fantastic seasons that we’re turned in by rookies and now PGA Tour event winners Brendan Steele, Chris Kirk, Jhonatthan Vegas, and Scott Stallings. Even Charl Schwartzel was classified as a tour rookie when he took home the Masters.
2012 seems to be shaping up to be that same exact type of year and John Huh seems to be at the forefront of this years rookie movement. While every player of course wants to a win, a rookie season is about making paychecks, and that means making cuts. The Cal-Northridge product Huh, has made 9 out of 11 cuts this year and already raked in a tidy 1.735 million dollar bankroll. As the season wears on this rookies stats just continue to impress; Top 10’s = 3, Top 25’s = 5, Runner Up’s = 1, Wins = 1, Fed Ex Cup Rank = 14. The one stat that is missing is, “Guts = 1.” The perseverance and guts it took to come back from a front nine 44, at a golf course that difficult is nothing short of remarkable. You might expect that kind of fortitude and moxy from a 40-year-old tour veteran, but from a 21-year-old rookie? Amazing.