Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Team USA (+10%): With so many foundational players (DJ, Spieth, JT, Rickie, Koepka, P-Reed) and an all-in attitude, the Americans finally have a system that works and a résumé to prove it. This group is built to last.
Phil (+8%): He’s still four years removed from his last W, but one of Mickelson’s most important accomplishments was stepping up to the podium in Gleneagles and initiating change in the U.S. team competitions. A de facto playing captain, he hasn’t just talked a big game, either – he is 8-1-3 in the past three cups.
Brooke Henderson (+5%): Quick: Who is the only LPGA player with multiple victories each of the past two years? It’s the 20-year-old Canadian, who survived treacherous conditions in New Zealand to bag her fifth career title.
Paul Dunne (+4%): Maybe the 2015 Open was too much, too soon, but the Irishman showed his mettle with a spectacular 61 to hold off Rory McIlroy and claim his first European Tour title at the British Masters.
J-Byrd (+2%): With a new perspective after two years in the minors, Jonathan Byrd played his way back to the big tour with a near-flawless performance against all of the kids at the Web.com Tour Championship.
Ben Crane (-1%): Back issues were the reason for his no-show at the Web.com finale, but the optics were terrible, after he was seen at a corporate outing in New York City. Of course, he then dropped out of the top 25 on the Finals money list, giving him an uncertain schedule this season through the 126-150 category.
Matt Harmon (-2%): It happens every year, but Harmon epitomized the stressed-out Tour hopeful, decapitating his putter on the final green after short misses on the last two holes cost him his card. Maybe next year.
J-Day (-3%): A frustrating year became even more so at the Presidents Cup, where he threw up another stinker, going 1-3-1 in a blowout loss. If the Internationals’ top players don’t perform, they’ll never stand a chance.
Internationals (-5%): A significant underdog every two years against the stronger, deeper and more talented Americans, the Internationals aren’t exactly brimming with potential spark plugs. Ryan Ruffels? Haotong Li? Brandon Stone? Someone needs to step up, soon.
Presidents Cup (-8%): How much more do we need to watch before the PGA Tour fixes this broken event? It’s no longer a small sample size – the U.S. is 10-1-1 and has led after the past 31 sessions – so it’s time to try something drastically different. The players on both sides deserve better.