Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
J-Day (+8%): His career year might still not be good enough to earn top players honors, but the red-hot Aussie is sure making a compelling case. He’s one of only three players in the last 20 years to win five or more PGA Tour events in a season.
Team competition (+6%): Year after year, it produces the most captivating golf, with unlikely heroes and second-guessing and controversy. Which is a frustrating reminder that the Olympic format is 72-hole stroke play and not team matches.
Gerina Piller (+5%): Chances are, she’ll never face a bigger pressure putt than the 8-footer she stared down on the final green to keep the Americans’ hopes alive. Easily one of the best shots of the year.
Tour Championship (+4%): It’s actually an intriguing finale this year, thanks to a still-undecided Player of the Year race and Day, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler all vying for the biggest prize in golf. What makes us temper our expectations, however, is this: The most deserving player hasn’t won the FedEx Cup since 2010. If it happens again this year – and there’s a good chance that it will – the system will lose even more credibility.
Angela Stanford (+3%): How, we do not know, but one of the worst Solheim Cup players of all time clutched up when she needed to and defeated Suzann Pettersen, Europe’s emotional leader, in the day’s biggest surprise.
Harris English (+2%): The Georgia boy missed the Tour Championship by a total of two shots over the past two years. A 20-footer on the last at the BMW punched his ticket to East Lake for the first time.
Justin Thomas (-1%): A solid rookie season ended on a sour note at the BMW, where his last-ditch effort to make the Tour Championship found the creek short of 18. Even worse, immediately afterward, his parents were mistakenly told by a SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio reporter that Thomas was still safely inside the top 30. A devastating few minutes.
Brittany Lincicome (-2%): The only 2015 major winner in this year’s Solheim Cup, she put up a goose egg in Germany and dropped her career record to 5-11-2.
Jim Furyk (-4%): Normally, he would be one of the favorites at East Lake, but he was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left wrist and now could miss his next two starts, Tour Championship and Presidents Cup. (Update: The PGA Tour announced Furyk's withdrawal from the Tour Championship on Tuesday afternoon)
Sandra Gal (-5%): With a chance to stem the Americans’ rally and deliver the clinching point in front of the home crowd, she never led and got steamrolled by a previously struggling Paula Creamer in the anchor match.
Tiger (-7%): He needed a year and a half to start swinging well after his first back surgery. Don’t be fooled by the positive spin – ”I’ve been injured before and played again. It won’t be any different this time.” – because this was a serious setback for a soon-to-be 40-year-old running out of time.
Suzann Pettersen (-8%): Yes, young Alison Lee made a mistake, but the veteran’s apology for ConcessionGate came about 24 hours too late – after she stubbornly defended her actions, and after she was so roundly criticized (by even a few of her own teammates). All because of an 18-inch putt.