Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
JT (+9%): And now it’s official: After five wins, a major, a FedExCup title and $20 mil in the bank, 2017 will be remembered as the year Justin Thomas became a bona fide star.
X-Man (7%): Just three months ago, Xander Schauffele was worried about whether he’d be able to keep his card. Now, after capping his rookie season with a Tour Championship victory, he appears to be yet another standout from the high school class of 2011.
Presidents Cup (+3%): Team golf is a blast, at least until Sunday afternoon, when this biennial event usually ends in a rout. On paper, at least, this looks like another red and white blowout.
Tiger (+2%): Finally, a Tiger Woods sighting, and it’s not hard to imagine that he has been looking forward to this week for a while. It’s an opportunity to reemerge and reconnect.
Matthew Southgate (+1%): Yes, it was a triple whammy – a leaf knocks his ball off-line, then he doesn’t replace it, signs an incorrect scorecard and gets docked four shots – but he starts the Finals finale at No. 20 on the money list, in position (for now) to secure his card for next season. Come on, Golf Gods: Do the right thing.
Steve Williams (-1%): It looks like the end of the road for one of golf’s most famous caddies, as Williams won’t carry the bag for Adam Scott in 2018 and said that next year, his 40th as a looper, will likely be his last.
Hideki (-2%): The International team’s best player tied for 26th at East Lake amid rumblings that he’s injured, exhausted or probably both.
Paul Casey (-3%): No one has come closer more often over the past three seasons, racking up 16 top-5s on Tour, but his Sunday 73, with so much at stake, seemed all too familiar for a player who is looking to snap an eight-year winless drought.
End-of-season awards debate (-4%): Finalists for the PGA Tour Player and Rookie of the Year awards were announced Monday. It should take five seconds to fill out the ballots.
FedEx format (-7%): When even the overall champion says the ending was awkward, that’s not a good sign. Changes are on the horizon – perhaps an extra day for an all-or-nothing, 18-hole shootout? – but the Tour might never find a season ender that produces both drama and a satisfying, season-long winner.