Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Rory (+8%): Hey, remember him? The former boy king couldn’t have drawn up a better ending to a frustrating year. Expect a monster 2016 as he attempts to make up for lost time.
Lydia and Inbee (+7%): Ko became the youngest to win … well … just about everything, while a two-major, scoring-title season pushed Park into the Hall of Fame. Five more years of this duel, please.
The Kiz (+5%): His year of close calls ended in spectacular fashion at Sea Island, where Kisner blew away memories of the p-word with a 64-64 weekend and runaway victory in front of friends and family. Well deserved.
Bryson (+4%): How fun is it going to be to watch this kid’s career? In just his second start since leaving school, DeChambeau tied for second at the Australian Masters, helping silence any of the remaining critics who said his quirky game wouldn’t translate to the pros.
Paul Casey (+3%): Still smarting from his 2010 snub, the Englishman won’t rejoin the European Tour next year, even though he’d need to play just four events to be eligible for the Ryder Cup. Monty always leaves such a lasting impression.
Freddie Jac (+2%): If any family deserves a holiday, it’s the Jacobsons. Freddie took off the last four months of the season after his young son, Max, needed open-heart surgery. When the Junkman returned to the Tour, he fulfilled the requirements of his major medical extension with six events to spare, thanks to a fifth-place showing at Sea Island.
First tees everywhere (-1%): The European Tour won’t be nearly as fun after Ivor Robson hung up his microphone and retired after more than 40 years of holding his bladder.
Stacy (-2%): It was far from a lost year – she banked nearly $1.9 million even without a win in 2015. But there is now a considerable gap between Lewis and the top two players in the world, and it won’t close anytime soon.
Adam Scott (-3%): Staked to a share of the halfway lead in Australia, he hung a third-round 77 on the board and cost himself a chance to end his 2015 oh-fer. He’s still too good of a ball-striker not to win soon … right?
Ryder Cup (-6%): While we appreciate Davis Love’s zest for the event, all of this talk on the U.S. side about task forces, vice captains, playing assistants, game plans, site visits, pods and rovers overshadows the most important point: The Americans just need to play better.
Handicaps (-8%): Comically out of touch with the everyday golfer, the USGA announced that solo rounds will no longer count toward a player’s handicap, citing the “key system premise of peer review” and conveniently overlooking the fact that golf is a game of integrity and, yes, honesty. Perhaps the blue blazers’ new slogan should be: No Friends, No Play.