Rico Hoey has been proudly carrying the Philippine flag with him on the PGA Tour — a rare sight in the world of golf.
If you’ve been following the PGA Tour this year, you might have noticed something particularly special: the Philippine flag on the standings. Seeing the country’s flag in any international professional golf competition is rare as this sport is not exactly the most accessible. But, Rico Hoey is making it happen, representing the Philippines in one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world.
Here are five facts about Rico Hoey you should know.
He was born in the Philippines
Although he was born in Manila, Philippines, Rico Hoey was raised in the United States after moving to California at a young age. He grew up in an athletic family. Both his sisters also played golf, and they all competed at the collegiate level.
Even when Rico was in high school, he was already a highly competitive golfer. In 2012, he won the Callaway Junior World Championship and the Junior America’s Cup. But he didn’t just compete in the United States — he also competed for the Philippines during his teen years.
He represented the Philippine National Team
As a teenager, Rico Hoey competed for the Philippine National Team in the 2013 Putra Cup — a huge victory, as this title ended a 17-year title drought in the tournament. Hoey was among the top stars of that year’s “Dream Team” as he led them to the Philippines’ 18th Putra Cup title.
Since then, the Filipino-American continued to develop as a golfer. He attended the University of Southern California and impressed in many collegiate-level tournaments in the United States.
He turned pro in 2017
Following his career as a collegiate-level golfer, Rico Hoey turned professional in 2017, when he was around 22 years old. He first played in the PGA Tour Canada, where he won the Freedom 55 Financial Championship. This marked a huge milestone for the Filipino. However, he struggled to find his place in the top in succeeding years.
After his PGA Tour Canada win, Hoey struggled with injuries and self-doubt. But in 2023, he made a career-boosting comeback with a win in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open and topped the Korn Ferry Tour season stats in multiple categories, including total eagles. This opened even more doors for him.
He jumped up on the rankings
In 2023, Rico Hoey started as 3,064th on the Official World Golf Rankings. But, as mentioned earlier, this was the year he turned his career around.
The Filipino-American pushed his way to multiple top-10 finishes in the Korn Ferry Tour season, which helped bolster his rank to 140th at the end of the season. Currently, he sits at 154th. With his impressive string of results from last year, he finished the Korn Ferry Tour season as fourth on the rankings and earned his PGA tour card.
He’s the first Filipino to get a PGA tour card
Now at 28 years old, Rico Hoey has become the first Filipino player to get a PGA season tour card. On top of this, as a rookie, he has already been proving his mettle. In his second start of the season, he finished in a tied-third place in the American Express tournament in California, and with this, the Philippine flag — which he proudly wears and represents — has been easy to spot on the PGA tour results.
In a previous interview following the results of his second start, he shared, “It truly is pretty special to me and I want to carry on the flag as long as I can. And I’m gonna represent the country as long as I can. It’s a growing game and I just want to show the world that you know, we’re up and ready.”
Banner image from Rico Hoey on Instagram.