Zalatoris, 25, was a special temporary member during the season. He is the first special temporary member to claim the Arnold Palmer Award since Charles Howell III in 2001.
“The past two years have just been so wild,” Zalatoris said. “If you told me that I would have been sitting here as the Rookie of the Year, especially when we had the four-month layoff, and told to have the wraparound season, I would have had a tough time believing you. It’s a really great honor and I’m excited to get going.”
Zalatoris won the award over Garrick Higgo, who was the only other player on the ballot.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour, my congratulations to Will Zalatoris on being voted the 2021 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year by the TOUR’s membership,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. “Will’s success despite not having PGA Tour membership status at the outset of the 2020-21 season is a testament to not only his ability but also his hard work and attitude.”
Zalatoris’ best finish of the year came at the Masters in April. He finished at 9-under-par, one stroke behind winner Hideki Matsuyama. He also finished tied for eighth at May’s PGA Championship.
Zalatoris will be a full-time member for the upcoming PGA Tour season.