Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Lydia Ko (+9%): In the wake of Ko’s season-finale sweep, her peers swallowed their pride and offered nothing but kind words for the likable teen. But don’t let their forced smiles fool you – it must be demoralizing to lose to a 17-year-old wunderkind. Welcome to the next two decades.
Hennie Stennie (+6%): When he’s on – launching 300-yard rockets, knocking down flags, pouring in putts – you wonder how he doesn’t contend every single week. Dude is a lighthearted assassin.
LPGA (+5%): Led by a resurgent star, an inspiring Player of the Year and a precocious talent, the women’s circuit is more compelling than it’s been in a decade. Given where this tour was only a few years ago, the 2014 season was nothing short of a smashing success.
Suzy Whaley (+3%): Whaley can thank the ousted Ted Bishop for this election-year boost. She is now a virtual lock to assume the PGA presidency in four years’ time. Let’s hope she can enact meaningful change.
Chris Como (+2%): It’s not yet known whether he’ll be as visible as Butch or Hank or Foley, but Tiger’s new swing “consultant” just hit the career lottery. He has the power to rewrite modern golf history, without all of the expectations heaped upon his predecessors.
Inbee (-1%): So much for ending the season with a bang. The world No. 1 threw up a clunker in Naples and was shut out of all the season-long awards and prizes.
Solo Tiger (-2%): In naming his new swing adviser, Woods proved that he’s just like us – insecure on the range and in need of an extra set of eyes. That’s fine, and it may work out, but part of me wishes he would just go it alone and rediscover the swing (and body) that made him the most dominant player the sport has ever seen.
Webb (-4%): Was he having belly-putter withdrawals? After going to the short stick, Simpson finished 55th against a weak field in Japan. It could be ugly for the anchoring brigade in ’16.
Slow play (-5%): President Obama needed SIX hours to play a casual round on a deserted course with renowned website publisher Derek Jeter? Talk about a filibuster.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello (-6%): Lest we forget it was the Spaniard who led Stenson, Rosey, Rory and V-Dub coming down the stretch in Dubai. Then a back-nine 41 happened.
Parodies (-7%): Dan Jenkins didn’t have anywhere near his best stuff, the fake interview coming off as bitter and mean-spirited. Team Tiger, meanwhile, fired back with a tone-deaf, thin-skinned response that only drew more attention to a magazine story that no one was going to read. A lose-lose for everyone involved.