Stock Watch: Grillo jumps, Poulter scrambles


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


Emiliano Grillo (+8%): Look, this guy was already the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year before he won the Open. Now he has cemented his long-term status, not to mention a spot in the OWGR top 50, and will be teeing it up next to friendly rival Jordan Spieth at several big events next year. This is only the first of many for the Argentinian. 

English golf (+7%): Unheralded Andy Sullivan became the only three-time winner on the European Tour this season with his nine-shot rout in Portugal, yet another English player having a breakthrough year. Matthew Fitzpatrick won just a week ago, and this year we've seen Danny Willett and Tommy Fleetwood both shine bright on big stages. The Ryder Cup replacements for Westwood, Poulter et al are on their way.

Kevin Na (+6%): Went down swinging in extra holes. The shot didn't go as planned, but anyone willing to pull driver off the deck in overtime - and absolutely own the decision in its immediate aftermath - deserves a bump. 

Justin Thomas (+5%): After a career-best T-3 finish in Napa, only one word is required: soon. 

Lexi (+3%): It's not a major, but it's still a win. After watching Lydia Ko race past her at the Evian, Lexi Thompson got the job done this past week in S. Korea. It's her second win of the year, and any victory for one of the stars - especially the American stars - is good for the LPGA brand. 

Safeway (+1%): Replacing as the new title sponsor in Napa. Anyone willing and able to keep the Tour in the heart of wine country through at least 2020 is fine by me.


Tom Watson (-1%): The PGA of America Hall of Fame Class of 2015 was announced, and it did not include Tom Watson, who declined a spot over the ousting of friend and former PGA president Ted Bishop. A heartfelt gesture, sure, but not a good look for the two-time Ryder Cup captain.

Rory (-2%): The Ulsterman made good on his obligation in Napa, finishing a solid T-26, but the putter remains ice cold. McIlroy said he would have rather been in Wales watching rugby, and at times his on-course interest level reflected the honesty in that statement. Expect that to change when the Race to Dubai rolls around.

Grillo from close range (-3%): He got the win, but Grillo nearly gave it away with a 3-foot miss on the first extra hole. It was a carbon copy of the shortie he missed to win in Puerto Rico in March, and he three-putted the 72nd green to finish second on the Tour a month ago. A little practice from inside the leather could go a long way.

Jarrod Lyle (-4%): The comeback story everyone wants to see isn't playing out as planned. Lyle missed the cut in Napa, his first start since May, and he hasn't played on Sunday in almost a year. What began as a shoe-in medical extension, 20 starts for $283,825, is now a less-than-certain hurdle - $217,680 with only nine starts remaining.

Sammy Schmitz (-5%): Rising last week, falling this week. Qualifying for the Masters is great and all, but launching a GoFundMe to foot the bill for your various Augusta National practice rounds this winter? I know a lot of folks that would pay big bucks to tee it up alongside you, but I'm not sure they'd pay just for you to have that pleasure - even if there is a loophole in the amateur bylaws to let it happen.

Jason Bohn (-6%): The veteran played like a rookie down the stretch at Silverado. He chunked a 60-yard pitch shot on No. 16 to give up sole possession of the lead, then needing a birdie on 18 he hit his approach onto a dining table in the hospitality area. Unlike Na, his winless drought - which dates back to 2010 - looks ready to continue.

Ian Poulter (-8%): The match-play ninja nearly lost his spot at Hazeltine because of divisor math. Poulter had to scramble a trip to Hong Kong just to keep his European Tour card, the downside of falling outside the OWGR top 50. He was near the same bubble last fall, but played his way back up the standings with a T-6 finish in China. This year he won't have that same chance.