Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Rickie (+8%): A big step remains into true stardom, but the much-needed victory at the Honda reestablished Fowler as one of the most accomplished young players in the game. Only six players 28 or younger have four or more Tour titles.
Amy Yang (+6%): Crushing an elite field with a record-breaking performance in Thailand, the 27-year-old Korean boosted hopes that this will finally be the year that she breaks through in the majors after a series of close calls.
Rory (+5%): Golf’s most exhilarating talent is back, and not a moment too soon, with seemingly all of the game’s stars taking early-season titles.
Brendan Steele (+2%): The Napa winner has been racking up good finishes, but not all top-20s are created equal. At the Honda, he was 7 over through the first eight holes before he made the cut with a 65, shot 2 under on a weekend that was tough for scoring and recorded a T-14.
Johnny Miller (+1%): Love him or hate him – it’s not a mystery where many fans fall on this – he at least deserves credit for being one of the few golf analysts who is unafraid to tell it like it is, even if that means tweaking the players. No other sport has fawning commentators, so why should golf?
Gary Woodland (-1%): He’s been solid this season, but that was a $128,000 miscalculation with his layup into the lake.
Cody Gribble (-2%): The good news is that he led after the first round. The bad? He slid down the ’board the rest of the week, eventually finishing last among those who made the cut (23 shots off the lead).
Jason Day (-3%): Bowing out of the WGC-Mexico with a double ear infection and the flu doesn’t help his rep.
Bear Trap (-5%): Cherish these next 51 weeks – we won’t have to hear about the daunting three-hole stretch or from the belligerent fans who have turned the 17th hole into Scottsdale South, only more unfair, because it’s a significantly tougher hole.
Criticism of Pat Perez (-7%): Players are condemned for being too bland and image-conscious, and now, Perez is being crucified for expressing a popular opinion in his typical, unvarnished tone. The sport needs more candor, not less, but each overreaction only makes an honest answer less appealing.