Stock Watch: Superstar and a Hero on the rise

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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

Jordan Spieth (+9%): Don’t forget, the Aussie Open served as a springboard for Rory last year. Now, the 21-year-old Spieth has earned his second pro title with one of the single-best rounds of the year. Big things are coming.

Hero World Challenge (+7%): Tiger is back, which makes his 18-man cash-grab a must-see TV event. What more do you want in early December?

Rio course (+5%): Finally, some good news for Gil Hanse: The course he is trying to build for the 2016 Olympic Games might actually be completed after his team dodged yet another legal land mine.

Phil’s brother (+3%): Seems Lefty’s kid brother can play a little, too. The Arizona State coach teamed with one of his former players at San Diego to shoot 63 and qualify for the USGA’s Four-Ball event.

College golf substitutes (+1%): At next week’s convention, the coaches are expected to follow other team sports’ lead and explore the idea of bringing a sixth player to a tournament, in case of injury/illness/poor play. It’s an added expense for the school, and it takes another kid out of the classroom, but something tells me these top-tier programs aren’t exactly hurting for cash.


FALLING

Terrible Thursdays (-1%): Adam Scott might have once again been on the verge of the Aussie Slam if not for ragged starts in his last two events. Despite stumbling out of the gates with rounds of 73 and 75, he still managed to finish inside the top 5 in each.

First World Problems (-3%): Just a few months after complaining that his nanny’s business-class seat was downgraded, Ian Poulter revealed that he paid to have one of his Christmas trees delivered and decorated, scoffing at one of the great holiday traditions and prompting this brilliant reply from Lee Westwood: “Ready made trees! Business class nannies! Whatever next?”

Tiger’s swing (-4%): Look, I understand he moves the needle like no one else in the game, but the dude was gone four months, not four years. The social-media reaction to ONE driver swing was a bit excessive, no?

International PGA Championship (-5%): There’s a new sheriff in Palm Beach, and in his first week on the job Derek Sprague crumpled up Ted Bishop’s idea and threw it in the waste basket. A shame, because an overseas PGA actually had the potential to – all together now – grow the game.

Task Force (-7%): The powers that be are reportedly scheduled to meet for the first time in person next week. When they do, we can only assume that the clouds will part, the birds will sing, the world will make sense again … and the receptionist will have Fred Couples on Line 1.