Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Stacy Lewis (+9%): There are many complicated explanations for what the world No. 1 has done this season (three wins, one finish outside the top 12), but here is the simplest: She really doesn’t like to lose.
Justin Rose (+6%): The ball-striking whiz continued to pad his résumé with another big-time victory on a big-boy venue, but we’re still not sold that this W bolsters his Open chances. The guy has played in the Open a dozen times and finished in the top 10 only once – when he was 17!
Michelle Wie (4%): Forget her final-round fade in Arkansas. It was a testament to her current form that she was even in position to win again, despite the most exhausting week of her life. Loving her game for Birkdale, and beyond.
Henrik Stenson (+3%): OK, so he couldn’t beat world No. 305 Fabrizio Zanotti head-to-head for the title in Germany, but you can’t ignore the way he’s trending upward (six top-7s in seven starts) with Hoylake just a few weeks away.
Congressional (+2%): They might as well change the name to the “Black and Blue” Course, because the Bethesda brute beat up some of the world’s best last week – just as it has done every year since the Open was held there in 2011. It may not produce the most excitement, but these all-out grinds are a nice change of pace from the week-in, week-out putting contests.
Ben Martin (+1%): His 71st-hole bunker hole-out loomed rather large Sunday, when the late birdie turned out to be the shot that sent him to his first major as a pro.
Tiger (-2%): If he’s healthy (and he says he is), how does he not knock off the rust, get more reps and add the Scottish Open to his schedule? Don’t even bother with the he-doesn’t-like-to-play-a-week-bef0re-a-major argument either – he does that very thing with the Bridgestone-PGA back-to-back.
Shawn Stefani (-3%): Look, it’s hard to knock a guy who just cashed the biggest check of his life ($702,000), but the journeyman made an avert-your-eyes double in the playoff – left trees, hooked iron into the drink, clanky pitch. Oy.
Andres Echavarria (-5%): The former Florida standout wrote the manual for how not to close out a tournament: order up a double-double on 17 and 18 to go from one ahead to three back at the Web.com event.
U.S. Palmer Cup team (-7%): Granted, the Americans were weaker after a few players turned pro post-NCAAs, but they were steamrolled, 8-2, in Sunday singles. Hey, at least the U.S. still has the Walker Cup!
P-Reed (-8%): Vying for his fourth win in the past 10 1/2 months, he managed only five pars during a never-dull 77. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying the kid is an immense talent and, ultimately, is great for golf if not barroom talk.
Seung-yul Noh (-9%): Overlooked in Sunday’s meltdown: the Zurich Classic winner shot 43 (!) on the back nine to plummet out of the top 5 … the top 10 … the top 20 … and into a share of 30th.
Ice Bucket Challenge (-10%): SO over it, already.