Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
James Hahn (+7%): No one underscores golf’s ‘Any given Sunday’ mantra quite like Hahn, who shook off eight consecutive missed cuts with a rousing victory at one of the Tour’s most brutish venues.
Ariya Jutanugarn (+6%): The best way to erase memories of a major collapse is to jump back into the mix and win. This was the first of many titles for the immensely talented Thai player.
The Players (+4%): Now that we’ve accepted the tournament for what it is – an awesome field on a viewer-friendly course – this year’s event packs plenty of potential in what has been a theme-less start to 2016.
Jordan (+3%): His “mini offseason” couldn’t have come at a better time, after his crushing Masters loss and with an insane schedule through the Ryder Cup (never more than one week off). Now that Spieth has a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder, we wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on a tear.
Rory (+2%): The year’s most frustrating star, for he still has too many patches of uninspired play that negate his brilliance. But he’s close. Thisclose.
Henrik Stenson (-1%): The ball-striking savant almost never has an off-week – his early exit at Quail Hollow was his first missed cut in more than two years. At least a new streak should begin this week at Sawgrass, where he won in ’09.
Rickie (-2%): Clinging to a one-shot lead, he dropped out of contention in a hurry at Quail Hollow, which would have been a surprise if he hadn’t (1) made a poor decision down the stretch in Phoenix, (2) lost his swing on the weekend at the Honda and (3) blew up with an 80 at the Masters. All told, it’s been an unsettling few months for a player who seemed on the verge of taking the next step.
Andrew Loupe (-3%): Move over, Kevin Na and Ben Crane – there’s a new Slowest Player on Tour. Put him on the clock now.
J-Rose’s putting (-4%): He woulda-coulda-shoulda won by a half-dozen in Charlotte the way he struck the ball. Now, not even Rose knows how much longer he’ll experiment with the claw grip.
Quail Hollow Club renovation (-5%): The holes are plenty long, the rough will be thicker in the summer, the greens were slicker than Augusta’s … and this course needs to be toughened for next year’s PGA? It’s a shame they’re overhauling this gem, because it’s already major-ready.