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.

Getty Images

Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

Getty Images

Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.


Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic


''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

Getty Images

J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.


Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open


"I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

"It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

"It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."

Getty Images

Cantlay, McDowell, Saunders share lead at Riviera

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2018, 3:51 am

LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods waited 12 years to get back to Riviera and lasted only two days.

Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play well enough to make up for his misses. He had a 5-over 76 and missed the cut in the Genesis Open for the first time in nine appearances as a pro.

He was at 6-over 148, one shot worse than his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at Riviera.

''I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens,'' Woods said. ''And consequently, never made a run. I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way.''

Patrick Cantlay ran off three straight birdies toward the end of his morning round, starting with a tap-in on the par-3 sixth when he missed a hole-in-one by a fraction of an inch, and shot a 69. He was tied with Graeme McDowell (66), the former U.S. Open champion who is trying to work his way back from a two-year slump.

They were at 7-under 135.

Sam Saunders also was at 7 under, making back-to-back birdies until it was too dark to continue. He had three holes remaining in his second round. Ryan Moore bogeyed his final hole for a 68 and was one shot behind at 136.

Rory McIlroy overcame a few short misses on the front nine for a 69 and was at 2-under 140.


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth - the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green - landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup.

''I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close,'' Cantlay said.

He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole.

McDowell has gone 59 starts worldwide since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 200 in the world. He had missed four straight cuts dating to late last year, though he felt he was hitting it well in practice. What helped was seeing some good scores.

''All I'm missing is a couple little numbers and a little bit of confidence,'' McDowell said.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 and gets to stick around for the weekend. He was at 1-over 143. Bubba Watson, who won in 2014 and 2016, has fallen out of the top 200 in the world after a two-year drought. He shot a 70 and was at 4-under 138, and then headed for the NBA All-Star weekend to play in the celebrity game.