Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Phil: At 43, Lefty is putting better than he ever has, and his camp says he’s as strong, fit and hungry as his college days. Forget taxes. Maybe a return to major glory was the “drastic” change he alluded to in January.
Poults: In the final round of the Open he morphed into the bug-eyed putting machine we saw at Medinah, tying for third at Muirfield and suggesting that a turnaround was imminent. Perhaps we all should try to solicit putters on Twitter.
Muirfield: It may not have the stunning views of Turnberry or the history of St. Andrews, but the list of winners there since 1959 – Player, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Faldo, Els and, now, Mickelson – proves yet again that this is the best track in the Open rota.
Scotland: During our 11-day trip – seven rounds played in six days! – it sprinkled for all of 10 minutes, leading me to foolishly believe that next year I should leave the rain gear at home and pack more shorts and sunscreen.
R&A: From being bombarded with questions about the organization’s stance on male-only clubs, to losing control of the course during Round 2, to seeing significant drops in attendance, to canceling the annual day-after-Open presser … no, not even a Phil victory could salvage a forgettable week for Peter Dawson & Co.
Major Tiger: The major-less drought is 17 and counting, and this was his best chance to win a Big One since 2009. More cause for concern: In his last 21 major weekend rounds he has broken par only three times and been in the 60s only once.
England’s Big 3: Westy added to his collection of close calls at the majors, while both U.S. Open champ Justin Rose and former world No. 1 Luke Donald both missed the cut at Muirfield. The royal baby weeps.
King Louis: It’s looking like a lost year for the sweet-swinging Oosthuizen, who has three WDs since May as he battles hip and neck injuries. Unfortunate timing in the midst of major season.