Emiliano was named the 2016 PGA Tour Rookie of the year while in Napa, California defending his maiden victory on tour. The award, voted on by peer tour members, was presented by Jay Monahan of the PGA Tour during a press conference angled to highlight Emiliano's fantastic first year on tour as well as the defense of his 2015 victory at the Silverado Resort and Spa. Emiliano is the third winner of the award from the high school class of 2011, following Jordan Spieth (2011) and Daniel Berger (2013). He is the 2nd Argentine to win the award, preceeded by countryman Andres Romero in 2008.
Emiliano's phenomenal year included the aforementioned victory in Napa at the Frys.com Open, 2 top 10's, made cuts in all 4 majors, an 8th place finish at the Olympics, and reaching the Tour Championship - only the 9th rookie to do so since inception of the FedEx Cup.