Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Shanshan Feng (+6%): Her closing 63 in Malaysia netted her another big-time victory and moved her into the top 5 in the world ranking. Quietly, the 25-year-old has amassed a rather solid résumé, with four career LPGA titles, including a major.
Brooks Koepka (+5%): Dubbed here as the Player Most Likely to Break Out in 2014-15, Koepka started his first year as a full-fledged PGA Tour member with a T-8 at the Frys. The hype is real.
Jarrod Lyle (+4%): How can you not root for this guy? If his first Tour start since 2012 is any indication (from Monday-qualifying to making the cut to tying for 31st), this will be an incredibly satisfying season for the two-time leukemia survivor.
Zinger (+3%): His rationale sounded silly – come on, by joining a task force he’d be hopping on a few conference calls, not fighting on the front lines – but it would have been insanely awkward for Azinger to sit in a room with chronic Ryder Cup losers and dissect what keeps going wrong while practically screaming, I AM YOUR ANSWER!
Pace of play (+2%): New timing guidelines were implemented at the Frys and the Tour is also considering increased fines for repeat slow-play offenders. That’s progress, but adding a few more zeroes won’t curb the problem. Strokes will.
Tiger’s jeans (-1%): His Nike stylist must take weekends off. An intervention is desperately needed.
Euro Tour history (-2%): Nicolas Colsaerts came as close as humanly possible, but one of the most head-scratching streaks in golf continued last week in Portugal. Nineteen rounds of 60 … and NO 59s?!
Kooch (-3%): In the top 5 heading into Sunday, his closing 76 at Silverado beat only two players. Ouch.
Fall Series (-5%): Best to embrace pro golf’s new reality: The wraparound schedule has essentially created two PGA Tour seasons – one for the superstars, which begins in March, and another for the circuit’s middle class, which began last week at the Frys. The result is a watered-down product.
Ryder Cup task force (-6%): The problem: The U.S. has lost six of the last seven Ryder Cups, and eight of the last 10. The apparent solution: Form an 11-man committee comprised mostly of players who – get this – have contributed to the losing effort. Brilliant.