After a shortened European Tour season which included a four month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sami Valimaki has been awarded the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, becoming the second consecutive Team TaylorMade athlete to do so, following Robert MacIntyre.
Sami put together an impressive 2020 campaign which included a maiden win in only his sixth European Tour start at the Oman Open. After the restart Valimaki’s form continued at the UK Swing earning him a spot at the U.S. Open, his first Major Championship.
The award this year was awarded by a panel comprised of the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer Keith Waters, Deputy Director of Tournament Operations David Probyn, and two members of the Tournament Committee, Chairman and European Tour Board Member David Howell and former European Tour Number One Robert Karlsson.
"I know the name Sami Valimaki has come out of nowhere in 2020 for many golfing fans, however as a Tour Team we have been working together now for 5-6 years so his apparent sudden rise is less of a surprise to us," said TaylorMade's European Tour rep Mark Thistleton.
NEED TO KNOW
> Sami claimed his maiden win in only his sixth start in the Oman Open in March
> 22-year-old becomes the first Finn to be crowned Rookie of the Year
> He finished 11th in the Race to Dubai after securing a top five finish at the season-ending Rolex Series event at the DP World Tour Championship
> His first season on the European Tour comprised of seven top ten finishes, including his victory in Oman, a runner-up finish in Wales and a top five in last week’s finale
> He joins Team TaylorMade athletes Martin Kaymer, Jon Rahm, and Robert MacIntyre to have won the title. With both Kaymer and Rahm going on to become World Number 1.
> Better than Tour Average for the season in Driving Accuracy (60%), Driving Distance (303.35), and Greens in Regulation (70.65%)
> Sami has propelled himself up 326 places to #70 in the OWGR, from #396 at the start of 2020
SAMI VALIMAKI: WHAT’S IN THE BAG
SIM 9* Driver
SIM MAX 15* Fairway
SIM MAX 19* Hybrid
P7MC 4-PW Irons
Milled Grind 2 50*, & 54* Wedges
Hi-Toe 58* Wedge
Spider X Copper Putter
TP5 Golf Ball