Stock Watch: Garcia on the rise; Lefty's back

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 28, 2014, 5:31 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Sergio (+10%): His major prospects might hinge on whether he can stay in a relationship with his new lady friend. It seems when he’s happy and in love off the course, he’s exponentially more dangerous on it.  

LPGA (+8%): It was a home-run opener for the tour, with Jessica Korda – another vivacious young player on a circuit chock full of them – holding off a star-studded field. The tour’s stock is skyrocketing.  

Scott Stallings (+6%): Don’t look now, but the 28-year-old joined elite company last week at Torrey as one of only six players under the age of 30 with at least three Tour wins.

Dubai (+4%): So much for maintaining a normal sleep schedule this week. A rusty Tiger and rejuvenated Rory, together, are must-see, early-season TV. (On-air coverage begins at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. Hey, I’m a company man.)

Hank Haney (+2%): Guess it didn’t take long for the former famous swing instructor to find his groove as a radio host. On his new SiriusXM show he’s already taken shots at Tiger, for being too muscle-bound, and Nick Faldo, for being unprepared on TV. His honest takes are refreshing.


Tiger (-3%): His first career MDF – on a course that he has owned, no less – only underscores the point that the game’s ultimate winner is more erratic than ever. Which means he’ll probably win this week.

Jordan Spieth (-5%): The Education of a Wunderkind continued at Torrey, where his 75-75 weekend on a bum ankle erased memories of his sensational 63 alongside the world No. 1. A little scar tissue, though, will make the victories even prettier.

Torrey Pines (-6%): The redone muni was a monotonous snooze-fest with brutal length, wedge-out rough and rock-hard greens – in other words, it was perfect for a U.S. Open, not a January tune-up. With every tournament effectively in a constant recruiting war, this year’s event did little to help boost the 2015 field.

Walking wounded (-7%): Twelve players on major medicals are teeing it up in Phoenix, thus bumping out the top 10 from last week’s event and players such as grad Michael Putnam, who are supposedly fully eligible. Even worse timing: It comes on the heels of a report that players are feigning injuries to stay on tour. Yikes.

Phil (-8%): This probably wasn’t what the arthritic 43-year-old meant when he said he’s scaling back his schedule in 2014. So durable for much of his pro career (only four WDs), he now faces uncertainty with a creaky back in arguably the most important year of his career. 

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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.