Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Zach (+10%): Playing the best golf of his life, Johnson showed small ball can work on any track. Since his rookie year (2004), only three players have more Tour titles than the 5-foot-11-inch, 160-pound Johnson. At 40-1, his Masters prospects already look tempting.
Jordan Spieth (+8%): For those expecting a sophomore slump … ha, sorry, not this kid. Four runners-up and a victory in 25 career starts as a pro. Stud.
Match Play (+4%): The tournament got a big boost Tuesday with the unfortunate news that Lindsey Vonn will miss the Winter Olympics. Tiger will need a different excuse if he wants to skip the first WGC of the year.
Paul Casey (+2%): Things are definitely looking up for the Englishman. Yes, he won last year at the Irish Open, but he scored a bigger victory recently by getting engaged to comely TV presenter Pollyanna Woodward. (Google her.)
Tournament of Champions: Strong leaderboard, laid-back vibe, stunning vistas, fun course, intriguing undercard to the BCS title bout … leave the winners-only event as is! Sorry, but diluting the field even further won’t change the fact that it goes up against the NFL playoffs.
Ted Bishop (-1%): The PGA prez and Indy super-fan took his grandson to the Colts’ wild-card game against the Chiefs, but decided he had seen enough and left early when they trailed, 38-10. Oops. The Colts, of course, then authored the second-largest comeback in NFL history to win an instant classic. Fair-weather fans are a worse epidemic than slow play!
Adam Scott (-2%): After the best stretch of his career, the world No. 2 is playing the Hawaii swing and then taking a six-week break, disappearing until the first week of March. Good news for Tiger’s world-ranking lead.
Boo (-6%): Led the Kapalua field in greens hit, but averaged more than 33 (!) swipes per round and finished 26th. Let’s hope he has better touch with the rifle and fishing rod.
Derek Ernst (-10%): Dead last – by nine shots! – in the limited field at Kapalua, but hey, there was some encouraging news: He notched his second career top-40 finish. What was his only other, you ask? The win last year at Quail Hollow. Oy.