Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Jon Rahm (+9%): For months we’ve heard about this kid’s immense gifts and monster potential, about the quality of his game when it all comes together. Which is why there’ll be plenty more weeks like his blowout victory in Northern Ireland.
X-Man (+6%): Nothing flashy here: Xander Schauffele showed improvement each year in college, and he has shown the same development in the pros, earning his card in his first try, contending in a major and then winning his first Tour event. That’s how it’s done.
Chesson Hadley (+4%): Here was one of the most heartwarming moments of the year, as the former PGA Tour Rookie of the Year buried his face in his hat and cried after winning on the Web circuit. It’s been a long, tough climb back to relevance, and it showed.
Beau (+3%): Hossler started the year with no status anywhere, after his 2016 NCAA Player of the Year season was cut short following shoulder surgery. Now, after another runner-up finish, he is in position to earn his Tour card for next season. Good stuff.
Bones (+2%): Maybe in a few years he’ll be lured back onto the fairways by another big-time player. But the belief here is that he’ll soon become a TV star with a fresh, unique perspective on the game.
Sebastian Munoz’s putting (-1%): What’s the difference between the first three rounds and the final round on the PGA Tour? Check out Munoz’s putting stats from the Greenbrier. He buried nearly 400 feet worth of putts over the first three rounds, by far the most of any contender, to take a two-shot lead through 54 holes. On Sunday, he was the worst putter in the field, sinking only 32 feet of putts. One word: Pressure.
Rory (-2%): At least Munoz made some putts. There are two majors in the next five weeks, and McIlroy looks as lost as ever on the greens, missing another cut and growing increasingly frustrated.
Opinionated LPGA pros (-3%): Brittany Lincicome is going dark on Twitter this week after she received flak for saying what most would agree is a logical statement – that President Trump should steer clear of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Bedminster, so he doesn’t detract from the competition. Unfortunately, we’re going to see and hear a lot of “no comments” this week.
Reasonable judgment standard (-5%): While reviewing Rahm’s mark on a 1-foot putt, European Tour officials invoked the new standard (announced in April) that puts more emphasis on a player’s integrity than video review. But even though Rahm was cleared by officials, he was guilty in the court of public opinion. His careless mistake – the replaced mark was maybe an inch from the original spot – overshadowed his dominant victory, and that’s a shame.
Ex-anchorers (-7%): By vehemently denying that they are violating the anchoring ban, Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron just put themselves under a high-powered microscope for the foreseeable future. They’ve putted so well this season because of a clear mind. Why add more doubt and suspicion?