Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
J-Rose (+8%): After building his reputation with hard-nosed golf on tough courses, he’s shown in the past month that he’s dangerous in track meets, too, running up 49 birdies in his last eight rounds.
Lydia (+6%): The kid – sorry, adult – is so overwhelmed in the big moment, she giggles on the tee and jokes after stuffing a wedge shot to set up another victory. She is golf’s lovable assassin.
WGC-Match Play (+5%): It’s the most unpredictable tournament of the year, but the new round-robin format should – repeat, should – set the stage for some big-time matchups on the weekend. Which definitely means Danny Willett is going all the way.
Brooke Henderson (+3%): The perfect foil to Ko, the 17-year-old Canadian starlet is ambitious, fiery and aggressive. Where can we sign up for a decade-long rivalry?
Rookies (+2%): Remember last year when Chesson Hadley won top rookie honors by default and only two newcomers kept their card? Yeah, that’s not happening this year. Nick Taylor already has a win, and Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas have stamped themselves as week-in, week-out forces on Tour.
Steph Curry (+1%): NBA players and tour types don’t intersect often – or, like, ever – but the Warriors’ sharpshooter inspired Rose with the way that he keeps the faith and chucks up 3s even when he’s cold. And if you thought he had a smooth stroke on the court, Curry’s swing is pretty sweet, too.
Freddie Jac (-1%): The Junkman finally disposed of his three-putt streak after an unfathomable 542 holes. His next goal should be to get into contention – something he hasn’t done since his run began in late January.
Rory’s group (-2%): In the traditional 1-vs.-64 bracket, he’d have what is statistically the easiest road to the finals. Instead, he drew BillyHo, Sneds and Duf in – all together now! – the Group of Terminally Ill.
Phil (-3%): Despite voicing support for the new format, Mickelson backed out of the Match Play for the fifth time in six years. Thankfully, the “personal issues” that forced him to WD are reportedly nothing serious, but most interesting is that Lefty is still expected to tee it up the next two weeks.
J-Day (-4%): With a chance to bolster his résumé and move another step closer to Rory and Jordan, golf’s most tantalizing talent instead made a series of crucial mental mistakes that torpedoed his chances to win the soggy shootout in NOLA. Ugh.
Mike Davis (-6%): The USGA’s setup czar raised a few eyebrows when he said he’d consider putting a few tee boxes on side slopes at Chambers Bay because … well … there doesn’t appear to be a reasonable explanation, other than the apparent need for par to be protected at all costs even on what is already a quirky links design. Let the howling begin!
Paula (-7%): Playing in front of friends and family in San Fran, Creamer shot rounds of 82-78 to continue what has already been one of the most frustrating seasons of her sagging career.