Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Tiger: At Firestone he once again looked superhuman, issuing his biggest beatdown since 2009 to crank up the PGA hype meter still another notch. Oak Hill is a similar ballpark to Firestone, so if his drives can avoid the long, tangly stuff, he’ll be in the major mix come the weekend, per usual.
Stacy Lewis: Her sensational birdie-birdie finish at St. Andrews is about what you’d expect from the grittiest grinder in the game.
Gary Woodland: Overcoming two years of injury and swing-change woes, the 29-year-old romped to victory in the opposite-field event in Reno. It was yet another reminder that Woodland, much like Dustin Johnson, possesses game-changing talent when healthy and motivated.
Henrik Stenson: There’s much to like about Hennie Stennie, not least his recent form. His T-2 at the Bridgestone was his third consecutive top-3 finish, and he’s now on the cusp of the top 10 in the world. He’s one of my PGA favorites, behind only Tiger, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.
Firestone: It’s a snoozer of a course, with its repetitive back-and-forth layout and hole similarity. The par-fest on the weekend didn’t help spark any interest, either.
Inbee: She threw up a clunker in her bid to win the Grand Slam, but at least Park was gracious in defeat and brought new fans to the women’s game. Whether those same fans stick around might be dependent on another sustained run of excellence, though.
Michelle Wie: A truly head-scratching captain’s pick, considering she’s a poor putter and in poor form (two top-10s in 17 starts). Thankfully, this hot seat has room for two – the player and the captain (Meg Mallon) who picked her.
Pre-tourney favorites: What do Charl, Phil, Kooch, Rory, DJ, Sneds, G-Mac, Westy and Sergio have in common? They all finished last week’s event over par. They obviously viewed the WGC as a final tune-up, and that’s OK. But you’d think that at some point over four days they would have, you know, started to trend upward.