Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Rory (+10%): So now we know that Boy Wonder can win by demoralizing the field (Congressional, Kiawah), awing the field (Hoylake) and outlasting the field (Valhalla), summoning the necessary shots when he needs them most … just like Red Shirt used to do.
Phil (+7%): His out-of-nowhere PGA performance was further proof that Lefty will have a chance in the majors until he’s 50.
Rickie (+5%): Eight months after beginning work with Butch Harmon, Fowler joined Tiger and Jack on an exclusive list of players with top-fives in all four majors in one season. Even better: The sting of a major lost will provide plenty of motivation for next year.
Valhalla (+4%): In 2000, the PGA-owned track was more memorable for the duel than any of its holes. Though the same may be true today, there’s no denying that it produced another wildly entertaining battle – and a deserving, big-name winner.
Time off (3%): Boy, DJ sure seems to be enjoying his sus … err, voluntary leave of absence, after another (since-deleted) Instagram video surfaced. With all of this practice time, he’s poised for a monster 2015.
The Masters (+1%): If Rory is already counting down the days until Augusta, then hey, so are we: 239 more to go.
Ryan Moore (-2%): Though he still should be considered for a wild-card pick, Sunday was a huge missed opportunity. With Zach Johnson ballooning to a final-round 77, Moore had a chance to qualify automatically. Instead, he threw up a 74 on a rain-soaked course and now must wait for his name to be called. Speaking of Captain America …
Tom Watson (-4%): All along he’s said that he won’t pick Tiger unless he’s healthy and playing well, and so here we are: Woods labored around Valhalla like a marathoner on his 24th mile (not healthy), and in his four starts since surgery he’s gone MC-T69-WD-MC (not playing well). With no events in the next six weeks, how can Watson’s opinion change?
Bubba (-5%): How focused is Rory? He shot 66-67 while playing alongside golf’s biggest drama king. If Bubba lost his mind in the sloppy conditions in Louisville, just wait until Gleneagles, Scotland, in late September!
PGA (-7%): The primetime finish may have scored big ratings – and makes you wonder why more majors aren’t played on the West Coast – but the hurried finish was weird, awkward and, most of all, unnecessary. They were thisclose from a worst-case scenario.
Brooke Mackenzie Henderson (-9%): The U.S. Women’s Amateur finalist lost on the 36th hole, then – incredibly – declined post-round interviews. (Only later did she agree to a phoner with a USGA official and a few scribes.) The 16-year-old, who tied for 10th at the Women’s Open, petitioned the LPGA to participate in Q-School but was denied. Another good call by Michael Whan.