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Stock Watch: New Big 4 rises; USGA plummets

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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

Jarrod Lyle (+10%): What an incredible scene as the teary-eyed leukemia survivor made his return to competitive golf – and made the cut, no less! Only the stonyhearted could be unmoved by this.

The Big 4 (+8%): It’s not often a five-win Tiger would have competition in the Global Player of the Year category. Well, clearly, 2013 was not just any year.

Peter Uihlein (+6%): The former U.S. Amateur champion is not just the first American to win Europe’s top rookie award. He’s also credited with blazing a trail for talented U.S. players who don’t want to apprentice for a year on the Web.com circuit.

Lexi (+4%): Surging thanks to a vastly improved short game, the 18-year-old is now the second-ranked American in the world after her second title in as many months. Take that, Ko-mania.

Harry English (+2%): His convincing win against a weak field in Mexico reaffirmed what we already knew – that this stud is going to be around for a loooong time.  


FALLING

Downtime (-2%): So you thought the PGA Tour’s “offseason” was short? At least it has one. The Euro Tour fires up its 2013-14 schedule this week, in South Africa, after three days’ rest.

Portrush PGA (-4%): Hey, everyone would love to see a modern major at the seaside gem, but the United Kingdom already has a major championship. Wasn’t the purpose of an international PGA to help grow the game?

World Cup (-6%): The boring, individual stroke-play format was instituted this year to mirror the upcoming Olympics, which is yet another reminder that the Olympics should not be a 72-hole competition.

Armchair rules officials (-8%): Starting Jan. 1, they can begin deleting “PGA Tour HQ” from their iPhone contact list. Well, unless they still want to nab unsuspecting pros of incorrect drops or relief points or …  

USGA (-10%): Infighting, power struggles, failed coups … in a year when the organization announced three game-changing decisions (anchoring, Fox TV deal, viewer call-ins). Except that impact will be felt much longer than Glen Nager’s lame-duck term.