Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Stephen Gallacher (+6%): Rebounded from a dreadful start Sunday to score his third European Tour title. And this was easily his most significant – in a Ryder Cup year (and at Gleneagles, no less), it may prove difficult to leave the Scotsman on the bench.
Stads (+5%): Despite his best efforts to show that the long putter does not, in fact, cure suspect putting, Baby Walrus closed the deal in Phoenix and, better yet, gave writers an easy early-week story at the Masters.
Fear the Beard (+4%): Let’s see, Graham DeLaet’s last four starts read as follows – T7-T6-T2-T2 – and he ranks inside the top 10 in every important statistical category. If he doesn’t win by June, it’ll be a massive upset.
Rory (+2%): Yet another top-10 signals a clear return to form, and the back-nine stumble ensures that he’ll take a something-to-prove mindset into his 2014 domestic debut.
Freddie (+1%): Couples made the cut in Dubai (and tied for 54th), which meant the Seahawks mega-fan was spared from having to attend one of the most lopsided Super Bowls ever – even if his team won.
Peter Uihlein (-1%): Talk about an inopportune bogey – his final-hole blunder not only cost him the weekend in Dubai, but it might leave the well-traveled 24-year-old one spot shy of a Match Play berth.
Slow play (-4%): Can’t blame the 16th-hole antics for this: The field of 156 couldn’t finish play before dark each of the first two rounds, and the lollygaggers nearly put the Tour in a disastrous sudden-death playoff/Super Bowl conflict … which, OK, in retrospect, might not have been such a bad thing.
Bubba (-7%): Wait, wasn’t 2014 supposed to be all about “rejoice”? Down the stretch Watson looked even jumpier and more irritable than usual, costing him a shot at his first victory since April 2012.
Three of the OWGR top 4 (-10%): In nine starts in 2014, Tiger, Phil and Hennie Stennie have used their considerable talents and combined to produce just a single top-25 finish. The offseason is over, fellas.