Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Suzann Pettersen (+7%): She has all of the physical tools to be the No. 1 player in the world – she got thisclose a few years ago – and the final piece was confidence. Her ascendance is yet another reminder that no one goes to Butch and gets worse.
David Lingmerth (+6%): OK, so we can’t say we saw this one coming (no top-10s in his last 27 starts), but this was a clutch performance by a guy who played mistake-free golf on a brutal closing stretch.
Jordan Spieth (+5%): He has broken par in all but one final round this year, and his closing 65 at Jack’s Place was his third of the season. Dude is almost never out of it on Sundays.
Johnny (+4%): In the span of 24 hours, he learned that he’d not only be the 2016 Memorial Tournament honoree, but also that he’d be in the booth for another major, after NBC Sports entered into a 12-year agreement to broadcast the Open Championship, beginning in 2017. Love him or loathe him, more Johnny is a good thing.
Jim Nantz (+3%): CBS’ golf whisperer casually dropped one of the most mind-blowing stories of the year Sunday – Erik Compton’s chance encounter with his donor’s aunt at an Ohio restaurant. Incredible.
Amateurs Gone Wild (+2%): Fourteen in all survived U.S. Open qualifying and will make the trip to the Pacific Northwest, a group that includes a "veteran" like Beau Hossler (making his third Open appearance) and 15-year-old high-school freshman Cole Hammer (who now has the best name in golf).
Steve Stricker (-1%): After pulling out of the Columbus qualifier after an opening 71, Stricks will miss the Open for the first time in a decade. A shame, because his fairways-and-greens game was always best suited for the year’s second major.
Duf (-3%): There hasn’t been much reason to talk to him about his golf this season, and when he finally did move into contention at the Memorial, he boycotted the national media because of the coverage of his divorce. For three years his personal life was documented on social media – this comes with the territory. Obviously, he can refuse to answer any off-the-course queries, but he still has a responsibility to discuss his work.
Sectional WDs (-5%): Can understand why some pull out halfway through the marathon day – it saves their legs for Memphis, for instance – but the number of dropouts before the sectional was alarming. Yes, the weather forecast was horrible, the criticism of Chambers has been overwhelming and the timing isn’t great in the heart of the FedEx Cup season … but we’re still talking about the U.S. Open here. These guys are content to watch from home? And what about those left out who wouldn't have wasted that opportunity?
Boorish fans (-6%): Anyone else sensing a pattern here: Ian Poulter … then Sergio Garcia … and now Justin Rose? Bonehead spectators seem to be heckling (and targeting) European Ryder Cuppers, but no player should be subject to that kind of abuse on the course. It’s time for the Tour to crack down on these morons.
Tiger (-9%): Never seen him this lost. With only 14 competitive rounds this year, it’d be wise to wait until the end of the season to declare the Chris Como experiment a failure. But without a quick turnaround, that end is only nine weeks away.