Each week on GolfChannel.com, we'll examine which players' stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Tiger: This is the fastest he has ever reached four wins in a season, and he now owns seven titles in his last 22 PGA Tour starts – a 31.8-percent conversion rate that is even better than his career winning percentage (27 percent). Oh, and he clinically dissected TPC Sawgrass, a longtime nuisance, in tricky weekend conditions. Hello, Merion.
Rivalries: Whether it’s the perceived battle of good vs. evil (Phil vs. Tiger) or young vs. old (Rory vs. Tiger) or underling vs. ruler (Sergio vs. Tiger), these occasional supercharged clashes power the sport. And trading barbs in the press is always encouraged.
Auburn women: An afterthought as the No. 14 seed on their home course, the emotional Tigers secured the eighth and final qualifying spot at NCAA regionals last Saturday, less than a week after head coach Kim Evans announced that she had ovarian cancer. War Eagle.
Streels: The hottest player no one is talking about cashed a $709,000 check at Sawgrass to further bolster his breakout campaign. With a T-3, T-6 and T-2 in his last three starts, this grinder proved his long-awaited win in Tampa was no aberration.
Timing: Tiger pulling a 5-wood while Sergio stood over the ball. Vijay suing the Tour the day before its flagship event. Hey, at least only one of the controversies was intentional.
Sergio: So, which was the more regrettable decision: Grousing about Tiger on national TV, or under-hitting a pitching wedge (twice) on the 71st hole when tied for the lead? A fitting ending to a weekend from hell.
Setup: There’s nothing quite like watching the world’s best players step up onto a par-5 tee in the so-called 'fifth major' and … carve a 3-iron or 5-wood down the middle. Several tees were moved up in the final round, and it forced players to lay back and play for position. How thrilling. Perhaps next year we needn’t save all the pyrotechnics for 16-17-18.
TPC Las Colinas: In a Golf Digest survey last year, players ranked the Dallas-area track as the fourth-worst on Tour. With only seven players in the world ranking's top 35 teeing it up this week at the Nelson, the opener to the Texas two-step is more like a tiptoe.