PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – Sal Zalatoris was named PGA Tour Newcomer of the Year, the first player in 20 years to receive the award without being a full PGA Tour member.
Zalatoris played well enough on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020 to secure a spot in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which did not qualify and was pushed back to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means it was part of the 2020-21 season.
Zalatoris was tied for sixth place, and with two other top-10 finishes he was able to join the PGA Tour as a special temporary member in November, meaning unlimited sponsorship exemptions.
The 25-year-old Dallas player ended the season with eight top-10s, including a runner-up at the Masters. Without a win, Zalatoris would not have been eligible for the weekend of the PGA Tour. He still earned enough points to equal No. 25 in the FedEx Cup position when the regular season ended.
Zalatoris won the award over the only other newcomer on the ballot, Garrick Higgo of South Africa, who won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in May.
The last player to win the rookie of the year as a special temporary member was Charles Howell III in 2001.