Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Charley Hoffman (+6%): A few Sunday blowups had dented his confidence, and there were times late in the Texas Open when he appeared on the verge of kicking away another prime opportunity. That 72nd-hole birdie was one for the memory bank.
Patrick Reed (+5%): Sure, he’s miffed by his inability to close out tournaments, but his mere presence on the leaderboard elicits some kind of reaction. His smoldering intensity is fun to watch.
The Pillers (+4%): With top-four finishes on their respective tours, Martin and Gerina saw $350,903 deposited into their family checking account on Monday morning. Golf’s newest power couple.
Wesley Bryan (+3%): It’s not even May, and he’s already locked up his PGA Tour card for next season. Dude’s so hot right now, he won with Callaway’s social-media manager on the bag.
#SB2K16 (+2%): How do you know their Bro-hamas Snapchats were wildly entertaining? Only a few get-off-my-lawn grumps emerged. We already can’t wait for April 2017.
Ricky Barnes (-1%): At times, his swing is so wild, and so violent, that it’s hard to tell whether he’s trying to hit the ball or maul it. That’s doesn’t usually work on Sundays, when rhythm, a cool hand and a calm mind are paramount.
South African Olympic team (-3%): Both Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel turned down the chance to represent their country at the Summer Games. And so now, instead of having one of the most potent duos, the South Africans’ dreams of gold lie with Branden Grace and, gulp, Jaco Van Zyl or George Coetzee.
WGC-Bridgestone (-4%): Crammed between the majors and pitted against the centennial French Open, the field strength at Firestone was always going to suffer. But can you really blame guys for choosing Paris in July over Akron?
Tiger’s Imminent Comeback (-6%): Despite speculation to the contrary, those who saw Woods up-close Monday in Houston reported that he’s nowhere close to a competitive return – unless he is uninterested in his score and wants to play his way into shape. That seems highly unlikely, given his competitive makeup and the level of scrutiny he’ll endure in his first start.
Michelle Wie (-7%): Four of her seven starts this year have resulted in a missed cut or withdrawal, the latest an early exit from the Swinging Skirts because of a neck injury. Wie is one of the few LPGAers with the potential to elevate the sport, but that Pinehurst Open seems like a lifetime ago.