Stock Watch: Rising, falling, holding steady in 2013

By Ryan LavnerDecember 3, 2013, 1:15 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf. Because this is the season-ending Stock Watch, we’re looking at 2013 in its entirety.

RISING

Henrik Stenson (+10%): An ascent that began last November culminated a year later with the man-machine claiming the end-of-season prizes on both sides of the pond. Now the third-ranked player in the world, he’s catapulted himself to the top of the list of Best Players Without a Major.

Adam Scott (+8%): Late Masters Sunday notwithstanding, he still isn’t quite the cold-blooded closer that we’d like to see. But with four wins worldwide and a sweet swing that appears indestructible, he’ll be Tiger’s most consistent competition over the next few years.

Jordan Spieth (+7%): Don’t forget how this 20-year-old began 2013 – with a sponsor's exemption at Torrey Pines. Now, he’s closing out his year at Tiger’s tournament, after a storybook season that included a win, three runners-up, five other top-10s, a spot on the Presidents Cup team and nearly $4 million in earnings. Stud.

Inbee Park (+6%): Her late-season skid took some shine off her dazzling Player of the Year campaign, but in early August, Park was vying to become the first player, male or female, to win four majors in a single season. ’Twas an incredible run.

Lydia Ko (+5%): The two-time LPGA winner joined the play-for-pay ranks, which means the 16-year-old is now able to get paid for routinely beating down her older and more seasoned peers.

Lexi Thompson (+3%): Finally cashed in on her considerable talent with two wins in five weeks late in the season. If she continues to make short-game strides with coach Jim McLean, this teen could turn into a world-beater by next fall.

Tiger Woods (+2%): In this scribe’s book: Winning five top-tier events and returning to No. 1 outshines multiple rules flaps and another major-less season. How this year will impact his legacy remains to be seen, however.

Jason Dufner (+2%): From the Dufnerning phenomenon to the PGA win to the wife butt-grab to his unwavering devotion to Auburn football, he has joined the short list of golfers who can go by just one name: Duf.


FALLING

U.S. Solheim Cup team (-2%): The Americans were embarrassed in Colorado as Team Europe retained the cup for the first time, won their first-ever match on foreign soil, and produced the largest margin of victory in event history. Maybe in 2015 they’ll sport face tattoos of the final score – 18-10.

Rory McIlroy (-3%): Yes, his victory at the Australian Open was huge, not just for Rory but for golf. But it doesn’t salvage what was a largely miserable year that included embarrassing excuses, tabloid rumors, messy court battles and, most troubling, sloppy play.

Wraparound schedule (-5%): To paraphrase a since-fired NFL coach, the PGA Tour’s start to the 2013-14 season was what we thought it was – the Fall Series, rebranded. The lack of star power and clumsy separation of seasons/years only added to the confusion for casual fans.

Vijay Singh (-6%): Wins an appeal, then sues the PGA Tour anyway. He’s no longer relevant on the big Tour, but, hey, give the guy credit for going down swinging.

Anchoring (-7%): It was announced this year that the method will be banned, but not until 2016, leaving a bevy of anchorers, world No. 2 Scott included, to toil in three years of awkwardness.

Sergio Garcia (-8%): The month of May was Sergio’s career in sum – ball-striking wizardry, boneheaded comments and ultimately unsatisfying results.

USGA (-9%): The ridiculous mid-am rule for the Walker Cup. The anchoring mess. The over-the-top U.S. Open setup. The hollow pace-of-play campaign. The ill-timed Fox announcement. The video rule that may or may not have been a reaction to the Tiger incident. The reports of infighting. So, coming in 2014: The New-and-Improved USGA, Presented by the PR Department.

Controversy (-10%): Quite possibly the most ungentlemanly year in the sport’s history … but, looking back, it was kind of fun, no?


HOLDING STEADY

Phil Mickelson: Won the major that, a few years ago, he never could have anticipated. He’d likely trade the Open, however, for two wedge re-dos at Merion.

Ted Bishop: The brash boss has no shortage of bold ideas, but he’ll need more than gusto and guts to bring meaningful change to the PGA of America.

Steve Stricker: The nicest man in golf gave hope to 40-somethings everywhere who want to scale back their schedule and spend more time with their family, but his major clock races ever faster now.

Parity: For every Tiger there was a Derek Ernst or Michael Thompson, for every Phil a Scott Brown or Sang-moon Bae. Welcome to the winners’ lounge.

Major-less drought: Five years and counting for the world’s No. 1 player, whose struggles include just two under-par scores in his last 16 weekend rounds at the majors.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: