Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Phil (+5%): This week is all Lefty, all the time, and it promises to be wildly entertaining. It’s not just his first stroke-play event since early September, but also his first public comments since the Ryder Cup debacle. He knows his window is closing, so if he has one big year left in him, this is it.
Latin America Amateur (+3%): The purpose of this Augusta National, USGA and R&A-backed event is to provide an avenue for aspiring golfers who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to play in the Masters. That’s certainly true for this year’s inaugural winner, Texas Tech senior Matias Dominguez, a player ranked outside the top 275 who posted just a pair of top-fives in 3 1/2 years in college.
Rory (+2%): He has top-15 finishes in 11 of his last 12 events, including four runners-up in his last five. The only thing that can derail his year is a particularly messy court case.
The PGA Show (+1%): It’s the world’s largest golf trade show – and thus the largest collection of soft-soled shoes.
Kooch (-1%): The time to end a run of 255 consecutive rounds with at least one birdie is NOT when trailing by two on a course that had yielded 14 rounds of 63 or better.
Martin Kaymer (-3%): His meltdown in the desert wasn’t the worst of all time – we still have a soft spot for Greg Norman’s 1996 Masters – but coughing up a 10-shot lead with 14 to play was epic and potentially damaging for a player with a (previously) solid reputation as a shutdown closer.
PGA Tour (-5%): In a 24-hour span last week, Camp Ponte Vedra put a lid on the looniness in Phoenix and suspended a little-known player for PEDs, yet didn’t disclose which substance triggered the positive test – an amendment from the original drug policy. Long live secrecy.
Tiger’s tooth (-7%): There are conflicting reports in Italy, so who knows what really happened? Our only hope is that the tooth fairy was kind to him this morning.
Robert Allenby (-9%): His story is falling apart with each homeless person who comes forward, and his reputation hinges on what the police conclude, but let’s not miss the point here: The guy was seriously roughed up. This incident will forever be a part of his legacy.