Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Jimmy Walker (+8%): The only thing missing from his résumé is a big-time title. Considering he top-10’d in three majors last year in what was essentially his first go-around, it wouldn’t surprise if his time came soon … like … in nine days.
Jordan Spieth (+6%): He’s up to No. 4 in the world after a run of six top-5s in 10 worldwide starts. How can you not love the way this kid brings it every single week?
Tiger Watch (+5%): The speculation about his Masters status has become as much a tradition as the azaleas and pimento cheese. It’s a tired song and dance, but it still beats breaking down the early FedEx Cup race.
Lydia Ko (+4%): Aren’t 17-year-olds prone to erratic behavior? Not this stud. She’s not only a monster favorite at the year’s first major, but in perfect desert conditions she’s also a lock to break Annika’s mind-blowing LPGA record (29 consecutive under-par rounds).
DJ (+3%): On the course, at least, Johnson is showing a discipline that has lacked in recent years. His gritty T-6 after an opening 78 was the latest example of his newfound maturity.
Badds (+2%): Well, Shot of the Year is wrapped up: That 336-yard hole-out after a reload will be tough to top.
Henrik Stenson (-1%): OK, so there’s no good time to come down with the flu. The week before the biggest event of the year is one of the worst.
Martin Kaymer (-2%): Geoff Ogilvy advised Kaymer to play the Texas Open for the first time because he enjoys a tough test. Well, not this tough – Kaymer was blown away with back-to-back rounds in the 80s. He can repay Ogilvy by spiking his coffee with Ex-Lax.
Michelle Wie (-3%): Heading into the year’s first major, the Big Wiesy has been dogged by injuries and illness and poor form. In six starts, she’s still looking for her first top 20. Oy.
Zach Johnson (-4%): Never thought we’d see the day that he led the field in strokes gained-tee to green but was nearly DFL in putting.
Matteo Manassero (-5%): All of this talk about Spieth has turned the spotlight away from another 21-year-old phenom. Manny has four Euro Tour victories, but it’s not a good sign when he makes his first cut of the season on March 29. Less than two years after reaching No. 25 in the world, he’s now outside the top 230. Which brings us to …
Tiger’s world ranking (-7%): Can’t take credit for unearthing this gem, but consider the song that was No. 1 on the charts the last time Woods was ranked outside the top 100: “Macarena”. So, yeah, it’s been a while.