Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Michelle Wie (+10%): At 24, she is no longer burdened by the outsized expectations that accompanied her early years on tour. Now, she’s a well-adjusted, immensely talented, telegenic star with a monster game and even better perspective.
Tiger (+9%): The sport’s most interesting player is back, hopefully for the duration of the season. He’s just the spark this theme-less season needed.
Mike Whan (+7%): The only way to explain his last five incredible months: the LPGA commish must have sold his soul to the golf gods! So far, this has been the Year of the Women in golf.
USGA (+5%): Kudos to the blue coats for hosting a near-flawless Open doubleheader. About the only way they can squander all of this goodwill is to ban Wie’s tabletop method.
Lucy Li (+3%): She was the star of the Open early, with the giggles and the outfits and the grown-up game. Let’s hope that, moving forward, she’s handled with care – the kid can’t become an LPGA player for another seven years!
Kevin Streelman (+2%): Admittedly, it’s hard to get too worked up about a guy who didn’t have a top 10 in a full-field event this season and was coming off four consecutive MCs. But his back-nine 28 (and seven straight birds) at the Travelers was macho, and his surprising victory further underscores how deep today’s game is.
Inbee Park (-1%): Her bid for back-to-back titles ended during Thursday’s 76 and she made little noise the rest of the way, flaming out to a T-43. Not her week.
Ryan Moore (-2%): On the verge of cementing this season as his best on Tour, he instead threw up the only over-par round in the top 10 and finished three shots back at the Travelers.
Tiger’s return (-3%): Woods may have received the green light from his doctors, but in the past week he apparently went from beginning to hit drivers to teeing it up in competition – at big-boy Congressional, no less. This seems like too much, too soon. Don’t forget, no athlete has ever come back too late from injury.
David Duval (-4%): Four times this season he has followed a round in the 60s with one that was six or more shots worse. The latest example? His 68-83 start at the Travelers. So close to putting a good week together, his dream of earning a card is drifting further and further away.
Ratings (-5%): The good news: Final-round figures for the Women’s Open were up 92 percent from a year ago. The bad news: The blowout men’s Open – rated as one of the worst Open Sundays in history – was still DOUBLE the best-case scenario for the women.
Patrick Reed (-8%): Updating a previous item, here are his finishes since the infamous “top 5” comment: 52-MC-48-MC-MC-MC-35-MC.