Stock Watch: Riviera drop-outs drop down

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Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

DJ (+9%): The world-ranking math finally caught up to the eyeball test. The past nine months have taken Johnson to new heights, yet it seems like he has just begun his ascent.

Ha Na Jang (+5%): With a comeback victory in Australia, maybe it’s Jang, not Lydia Ko, who is the biggest threat to Ariya Jutanugarn’s Player of the Year defense. That’s her fourth W since the start of last season.

Thomas Pieters (+4%): A tie for second at Riviera moved the Belgian bomber closer to securing special temporary status on the PGA Tour. Seeing more of this stud in the States is a good thing for golf fans.

Rory (+2%): Politics aside, McIlroy’s round with President Donald Trump confirms that he’s still on schedule to return next week after a nearly two-month absence because of a stress fracture in his ribs. Just in case you thought the Masters landscape couldn’t get any more crowded.

Muirfield (+1%): Given a second chance after its all-male membership voted against inviting women, the R&A hinted strongly that the storied links would return to the Open rota if the proposal passes next month.


FALLING

Lizette Salas (-1%): Trying to match the Americans’ LPGA win total for all of last year, the 54-hole leader instead slumped to a 78 – the third-worst score of the day – to drop into a seven-way tie for seventh.

Bryson (-2%): Fans let DeChambeau have it when he withdrew from Riviera, citing a right-hand injury from “work(ing) too hard.” Whatever the reason, his rough year continues – he has made just 3-of-9 cuts, with his best finish a tie for 36th.

J-Day’s putting (-3%): Dethroned as the world No. 1, Day still can’t find his stroke – the game’s best putter a season ago, he now ranks 186th on Tour. But if there’s a reason for optimism: March was when he found his groove last year.

Bubba (-5%): Eight over par with two holes to play, Watson was a no-show when second-round play resumed Saturday morning, and no reason was given for his withdrawal. Not a good look for the defending champion.

Fore! (-8%): A small sampling of a larger issue: Pat Perez pegged fans in the forehead and arm with errant tee shots, and neither Perez nor anyone in the group warned the gallery. When did spectator safety become a secondary issue?