LOS ANGELES – Aaron Wise, who captured his first US PGA Tour title in his 18th start as a member, won the 2018 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old American, who was born in Cape Town, left South Africa for the United States when his family moved at age three.
“My parents did well to keep food on the table,” Wise said. “We didn't have much.”
Wearing oversized shoes so he would need fewer pairs, Wise battled through to win the 2016 US college title and helped Oregon win the college team crown.
Wise earned a US PGA Tour spot for the 2017-18 campaign and in just his 18th start as a member took the Byron Nelson tournament crown, hitting 66 of 72 greens in regulation, the most by any tour winner since 1997.
World number 53 Wise, three off his career-best world ranking, will open his 2017-18 campaign this week at Las Vegas.