Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
J-Day (+9%): The big question – health – lingers still but it’s clear that he’s the player best equipped to make a run at Rory McIlroy’s throne.
Pebble (+6%): If you can look past the celebrities’ shanks, duffs and yanks, this might be the one week a year that the hashtag #GolfPorn is appropriate.
Sei Young Kim (+5%): The 22-year-old South Korean has already been in six playoffs as a pro. She’s won five of them. World No. 23 and climbing …
Billy Casper (+4%): Even in passing he was overshadowed by another sports legend, Dean Smith. The underappreciated Casper earned 51 PGA Tour titles – seventh best on the all-time list – and won in a remarkable 16 consecutive years. RIP.
Power of the King (+2%): A few years ago, Arnold Palmer quipped that he’d break Rory’s arm if he didn’t play his tournament. Now he doesn’t have to – McIlroy has signed up for Arnie’s event for the first time.
Charles Howell III (+1%): He noted last year that Tiger “ruined a lot of guys’ lives” because of his dominance. But CH3 is proof that wasn’t quite true. With his T-5 at Torrey, his career earnings nudged above $28 million, despite only two wins. Life is good, very good.
J.B. Holmes (-1%): The analytics nerds will obsess over whether he should have gone for it on 18 in regulation. More troubling is that, despite his immense length, he played the four par 5s in 1 over in the final round.
Caddies vs. PGA Tour (-2%): Interesting case, because both sides have a point: The loopers are essentially human billboards for the Tour, while it’s the players themselves (not the circuit) who broker a deal with the caddies. With the players stuck in the middle, it seems unlikely that this will get nasty, at least publicly.
Ian Poulter (-3%): His courtesy car was towed from a San Diego-area restaurant, which inevitably led him to throwing a big stink on Twitter. Poor guy can’t catch a break.
Lucas Glover’s putting (-5%): Announcers can tiptoe around the nasty word all they want, but that was the yips, plain and simple, and it was utterly terrifying. There is no cure, but let’s hope he can find some relief soon.
Phil (-6%): Talk about a confidence-crushing few weeks: After an offseason of training, dieting and working on his game, Lefty has missed back-to-back cuts and appears completely lost on the greens. Though he might think he can merely flip on a switch at the majors, it’s a near-impossible task after months of listless play. Right now, though, his outlook is still brighter than …
Tiger (-9%): His latest WD only hides a sad truth: that his game is in shambles, and he’s a heckuva lot closer to retirement than returning to No. 1. More reps aren’t the answer – that’ll only lead to more scrutiny and tension – so maybe downtime is. There’s still a chance, however slight, that Woods could be revitalized in his 40s.