Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Hunter Mahan (+7%): Well, at least somebody has contracted FedEx Cup fever. The only player to compete in all 29 playoff events, he’s now in line for the biggest payday of his career.
U.S. Ryder Cup drama (+5%): With Mahan now a virtual lock, it looks like six players are vying for two spots. Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker would seem the most likely to be selected, but Bill Haas, Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson or Brendon Todd could flip the script with a big week in Beantown.
Carlos Ortiz (+4%): This rookie season may have exceeded the 23-year-old’s wildest expectations, but the trifecta was no fluke. He represents the new breed of long-hitting, hard-swinging, fearless young players who are flooding the big leagues.
Jamie Donaldson (+3%): On a squad littered with bright stars and big personalities, the 38-year-old Welshman earned a spot on his first European Ryder Cup team the hard way, traveling all the way to Prague to get the necessary W.
Sean Foley (+2%): Sure, he might forever be known as the swing coach who couldn’t push Tiger to 15 majors and beyond, but he’s a smart guy doing fine work with Justin Rose (two wins last month) and Mahan (Barclays). At least now he can go about his business without the nagging criticism.
Jim Furyk (-1%): It’s abundantly clear that his next victory will have to come from behind, not from the pole position. That said, Furyk has handled this four-year oh-fer with class, facing the music (and the microphones) after every disappointment. Respect.
Deutsche Bank (-2%): The early WDs (so far) include Sergio, J-Rose, G-Mac and Duf, and frankly we’re surprised there aren’t more. With the short week between Boston and Denver, this is the event to skip, which is a shame, because the tournament is always good, clean, holiday fun.
Tiger’s next swing coach (-3%): Job candidates must be: a.) thick-skinned, with all of the armchair instructors; b.) cautious, in dealing with an oft-injured player; and c.) ambitious, because here is an opportunity to resurrect the career of a soon-to-be 39-year-old stuck on 14 majors and in the final act of his career. That gig isn’t for everyone.
Reset Cup (-4%): Nice hot streak, Rory – you’re now Nos. 2 in the FedEx Cup. Mahan’s Barclays victory was an annual reminder that playoff events shouldn’t be worth five times the usual points.
Euro Ryder Cup drama (-5%): Does anyone actually think that Paul McGinley will NOT select Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald? The Europeans are huge favors on paper, but that’s no reason to get cute with the picks. (Sorry, Miggy.)
Chella Choi (-8%): Even the visually impaired could see that her infraction was egregious. That Choi “did not agree” with the ruling, per an LPGA official, makes the shady situation even worse.