Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Adam Hadwin (+8%): His sweet, compact swing nearly abandoned him at the worst time, but the Valspar was an important breakthrough for a big talent that the Canadians can’t stop raving about (for good reason).
Patrick Cantlay (+6%): What competitive rust? Playing in only his second event in the past 28 months, the former amateur star was sharp from tee to green at Innisbrook and nearly stole the title. Things are finally looking up.
LPGA stars (+3%): At long last Lydia and Ariya make their first appearance in the States this year, as the push toward the season’s first major begins in earnest.
Muirfield (+2%): Given a second chance after its insulting vote last spring, the legendary club will now allow women members (but still only 80 percent of members approved the move). Shortly afterward, the R&A announced that Muirfield was back in the Open rota. Punishment over.
Wes Bryan (+1%): That’s three consecutive top-10s for the trick-shot-artist-turned-Tour-type, as he has climbed inside the top 75 in the world.
Tony Finau (-1%): How much does every shot matter at the elite level? He likely could have qualified for the WGC-Match Play if he didn’t leave his birdie putt on the 72nd hole a few rolls short.
Masters Par 3 Contest (-2%): Heck, even this is a tough invitation to get, after the club decided to limit the Par 3 field to only players in the field and past Masters winners, not all major champions.
Tiger (-5%): No Bay Hill, which likely means no Masters. Again: It’s been a month and a half since his agent suggested that Woods’ back spasms were not a long-term concern.
Bay Hill complaints (-7%): Before another player fires off a lazy take about the supposedly weak turnout for this week’s event at Arnie’s Place, remember this: It’s the second-best field there in the past decade, and in 2013, there wasn’t another WGC event to contend with afterward.