Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Martin Kaymer (+8%): A 90-minute weather delay threatened to spoil his return to relevance, but the Germanator once again showed his big-game chops with steely pars on 17 and 18. The only players to capture a major, WGC event and Players: Tiger, Phil, Adam and, yes, Kaymer.
TPC Sawgrass (+6%): The course is quirky and awkward and uncomfortable, but this year’s Players offered yet another reminder that 16-17-18 provide the greatest theater in our sport – even in the dark.
USC (+5): Well, the women’s golf team sure knows how to drain the drama out of the postseason. The Trojans won the West Regional last weekend, their ninth victory of the season, and the biggest question heading into the NCAA Championship is this: USC or the field?
Jordan Spieth (+4%): It’s now abundantly clear that he’s pressing in final rounds, trying too hard to win, which rarely, if ever, works out. (See: Tiger at the majors.) Of course he needs to win more if he wants to evolve from very good to a once-in-a-generation talent, but for perspective consider this: The 20-year-old would have just completed his junior year of college. This week he’d be preparing for NCAA regionals with his Texas teammates. He’ll figure it out soon enough.
Team Europe (+3%): Six prospective European Ryder Cuppers finished inside the top 10 at The Players, led by a resurgent Kaymer, the 2012 hero at Medinah. Perhaps it was Paul McGinley’s radiant smile keeping TPC Sawgrass light enough to play.
Rory (+2%): His second-round scoring average over his past four starts (all top 10s) is 74.5. The rest of his rounds: 69.87. The payoff is coming – at least he’s making a lot of birdies.
Jim Furyk (-0.5%): For the second week in a row, we watched Jim Furyk watch TV in a losing effort – though this time with a $1.08 million consolation prize. Could be worse.
Richard H. Lee (-3%): Dude provided a self-esteem boost for weekend duffers everywhere.
Patrick Reed (-4%): His results since Doral: 52-MC-48-MC-MC. Still 24th in the world, if you’re keeping score.
Rules (-7%): This moment was inevitable ever since Decision 18-4 went into effect Jan. 1. Ultimately, the PGA Tour rules committee got the Justin Rose call right, which is most important, but you can’t help but wonder if future offenders will be as fortunate.
European Tour (-9%): They mourned the traumatic and sudden loss of one of its own by suspending play for a little more than an hour, having a moment of silence, and then carrying on with the weather-shortened 36-hole event. Embarrassing.