Matti Schmid has become just the second German to be crowned Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.
The award comes at the end of a breakthrough season during which the 24-year-old secured his status for the DP World Tour in 2022 just three months after turning professional.
He follows in the footsteps of two-time major champion and former world No.1 Martin Kaymer, who won the award in 2007.
Schmid shot to prominence during the Open Championship in July where he won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur. He turned professional directly after his performance at Royal St George’s and wasted no time proving his worth in the paid ranks.
Schmid, who also claimed a top-15 finish as an amateur at the BMW International Open in June, made the cut in his first two professional appearances on the European Tour before finishing runner-up at the Dutch Open in September.
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That went a long way to securing his status for the 2022 season, before a top-10 finish at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a tied eleventh finish at the Mallorca Golf Open rubber-stamped his membership.
“It feels incredible to be named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year for 2021,” said Schmid. “It was a very intense year, but I am delighted with my start to life as a professional.
“To win the Silver Medal at The Open was a very special achievement but going out into the professional ranks is a different challenge. I think that I am capable of competing at the very highest level which gives me the confidence for the future.
“To secure my card on the DP World Tour in just seven starts is something I am proud of and to win this award is just a wonderful bonus and a nice reward for the hard work I have put in.”