Stock Watch: Rory not only one on the rise

By Ryan LavnerAugust 12, 2014, 3:40 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): So now we know that Boy Wonder can win by demoralizing the field (Congressional, Kiawah), awing the field (Hoylake) and outlasting the field (Valhalla), summoning the necessary shots when he needs them most … just like Red Shirt used to do.

Phil (+7%): His out-of-nowhere PGA performance was further proof that Lefty will have a chance in the majors until he’s 50.

Rickie (+5%): Eight months after beginning work with Butch Harmon, Fowler joined Tiger and Jack on an exclusive list of players with top-fives in all four majors in one season. Even better: The sting of a major lost will provide plenty of motivation for next year.

Valhalla (+4%): In 2000, the PGA-owned track was more memorable for the duel than any of its holes. Though the same may be true today, there’s no denying that it produced another wildly entertaining battle – and a deserving, big-name winner.

Time off (3%): Boy, DJ sure seems to be enjoying his sus … err, voluntary leave of absence, after another (since-deleted) Instagram video surfaced. With all of this practice time, he’s poised for a monster 2015.  

The Masters (+1%): If Rory is already counting down the days until Augusta, then hey, so are we: 239 more to go.


Brendon Todd (-1%): The Ryder Cup hopeful has barely spoken with Tom Watson, which means his 75-75 weekend (and 73rd-place finish) at the PGA likely didn’t help matters.

Ryan Moore (-2%): Though he still should be considered for a wild-card pick, Sunday was a huge missed opportunity. With Zach Johnson ballooning to a final-round 77, Moore had a chance to qualify automatically. Instead, he threw up a 74 on a rain-soaked course and now must wait for his name to be called. Speaking of Captain America …

Tom Watson (-4%): All along he’s said that he won’t pick Tiger unless he’s healthy and playing well, and so here we are: Woods labored around Valhalla like a marathoner on his 24th mile (not healthy), and in his four starts since surgery he’s gone MC-T69-WD-MC (not playing well). With no events in the next six weeks, how can Watson’s opinion change?

Bubba (-5%): How focused is Rory? He shot 66-67 while playing alongside golf’s biggest drama king. If Bubba lost his mind in the sloppy conditions in Louisville, just wait until Gleneagles, Scotland, in late September!

PGA (-7%): The primetime finish may have scored big ratings – and makes you wonder why more majors aren’t played on the West Coast – but the hurried finish was weird, awkward and, most of all, unnecessary. They were thisclose from a worst-case scenario.

Brooke Mackenzie Henderson (-9%): The U.S. Women’s Amateur finalist lost on the 36th hole, then – incredibly – declined post-round interviews. (Only later did she agree to a phoner with a USGA official and a few scribes.) The 16-year-old, who tied for 10th at the Women’s Open, petitioned the LPGA to participate in Q-School but was denied. Another good call by Michael Whan.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.