Each week, GolfChannel.com will examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
El Pato (+8%): Cabrera’s awesome power display at The Greenbrier prompts an interesting question: Can he be considered both an underachiever and an overachiever? Though he’s bagged two Big Ones, this, incredibly, was his first non-major, big-tour win since ’05.
Brendon Todd (+4%): Say hello to the hottest player on Tour over the past two months, with six consecutive top-20s, including a victory. Now at No. 10 in points, he’s also on the verge of a Ryder Cup berth.
Old Tom (+3%): OK, so it came on one of the Tour’s easiest tracks, but Watson carded three sub-70 rounds at the Greenbrier to tie for 35th. At 64, the guy still flushes every shot.
Amanda Dufner (+2%): Thank you.
Open qualifiers (-3%): The new system was supposed to strengthen the field of the year’s third major, but the ticket-stamping of someone named Victor Riu (world No. 512), who finished a career-best eighth in France, showed a few tweaks might be necessary.
Kevin Stadler’s putter (-4%): The closing 76 in Paris was ugly enough, but his 3-foot whiff on the last green was particularly ghastly. He was reportedly consoled afterward by – wait for it – tournament director Jean van de Velde.
WGC-Match Play (-5%): The move from Tucson to San Francisco is a welcome one, but the new sponsor-friendly, World Cup format marks the end to one of the most thrilling golf days of the year (the Round of 64). And on a related note: With three big-time events in the next 11 years, is TPC Harding Park really deserving of all this love? Short answer: No.
Ryder Cup scouting (-6%): Turns out this mission probably was better in theory. Watson invited 20 guys for Gleneagles recon. Only four or five have accepted, including Patrick Reed, the supposed lone wolf.
54-hole leaders at Greenbrier (-7%): Are these guys feeling the aftereffects of the Jimmy Buffet concert? Staying up too late playing blackjack? Expending too much energy skeet shooting? After Billy Hurley III’s final-round retreat, the third-round leaders there are now 0-for-5 in closing out a win.