Rookie Report

Eight of the 16 pros making their first start in the Players made the cut. Here, listed in order of finish, are their background checks and experiences at Sawgrass.
May 21, 2012

DAVID MATHIS

CLAIM TO FAME: Late-blooming (38) journeyman won twice on Nationwide tour.

WORLD RANK: 249th

WHO DAT? Former Campbell Camel in fourth season on PGA Tour. Has two top 10 finishes, both in New Orleans. Spent five years on Canadian tour. Short-game wizard led Nationwide in putting in 2008.

AT PLAYERS: Steady but only 13 birdies. Eagled 16th on Saturday.

FINISH: -5, 15th

JOHN HUH

CLAIM TO FAME: Q school grad won Mayakoba Classic; tied for second at Valero Texas Open.

WORLD RANK: 86th.

WHO DAT? Moved from Korea to Chicago when John was 12, then to Los Angeles, where he sharpened game. Bypassed Nationwide tour. Rookie of year candidate.

AT PLAYERS: Opened with triple bogey on second hole, then birdied three of next five. Made three straight birdies on front and back sides during Friday 66.

FINISH: -4, 23rd

MICHAEL THOMPSON

CLAIM TO FAME: The Thompson who is not Lexi's brother. Runner-up at 2007 U.S. Amateur.

WORLD RANK: 99th

WHO DAT? Won three events at Tulane. SEC player of the year in 2008 after transferring to Alabama. Great on greens—ranks eighth in strokes gained putting.

AT PLAYERS: Rode hot stretch in opening round—birdied 8th and 9th, eagled 11th, birdied 12th. Six bogeys in disappointing third round.

FINISH: +2, 51st

SUNG-HOON KANG

CLAIM TO FAME: Missed short putt in playoff or would have won first Nationwide start in 2011.

WORLD RANK: 226th

WHO DAT? South Korean, 24, had two top 10 finishes as PGA Tour rookie in 2011. Power player ranked first in eagles last year.

AT PLAYERS: Comeback player of week, Kang opened with quadruple-bogey 8, then eagled 2nd hole and birdied 4th and 6th. Also eagled 11 in second round.

FINISH: +4, 61st

HARRIS ENGLISH

CLAIM TO FAME: Won Nationwide event last year while still in college.

WORLD RANK: 156th

WHO DAT? Husky 6'3" Georgia alum has five top 20 finishes as rookie by way of Q school. Classic power player ninth in driving distance (301.6 yards).

AT PLAYERS: Birdie-birdie finish capped second-round 67 (seven birdies) that put him one shot back. Shaken on Saturday after beaning marshal with drive on number 1, he tripled 2nd and doubled 5th on way to 79.

FINISH: +5, 64th

DAVID HEARN

CLAIM TO FAME: Holed 40-footer for birdie on final hole of 2004 Q school to get Tour card.

WORLD RANK: 235th.

WHO DAT? Ontario native and Nationwide regular. Won Four Nations Cup with Jon Mills, '04 Alberta Classic. Psychology degree from Wyoming in '08.

AT PLAYERS: Birdied island-green 17th on first try. Seven bogeys in third round.

FINISH: +7, 68th

GRAHAM DELAET

CLAIM TO FAME: First-round leader at Sony Open in Hawaii with 63.

WORLD RANK: 276th

WHO DAT? Born in Saskatchewan, missed most of 2011 with back injury. Playing on major medical exemption. Needs to win another $142,925 in 13 events to keep exempt status. Big hitter averaged 305.3 yards off tee in '11.

AT PLAYERS: Double at 18th marred opening 71. Despite length, played easy par-5 16th in one over.

FINISH: +8, 70th

CAMERON TRINGALE

CLAIM TO FAME: All-America at Georgia. On 2009 Walker Cup team.

WORLD RANK: 109th

WHO DAT? Third-year PGA Tourist lives in Las Vegas and has pair of fourths, at Greenbrier in 2011 and Torrey Pines this year. Tied for Tour lead in total birdies and has year's longest streak of consecutive one-putts—19.

AT PLAYERS: Needed eight birdies to offset three doubles in first two rounds to make cut, then fell back with two more doubles on Saturday.

FINISH: +9, 72nd

PHOTOCARLOS M. SAAVEDRA

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)