Stock Watch: Great to be Spieth; Rough time for Davis

By Ryan LavnerJune 23, 2015, 2:57 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jordan Spieth (+10%): He won with flawless golf at Augusta, and now ugly golf at Chambers Bay. The strength of his game is that he has no weaknesses.

Grand Slam talk (+8%): As if a return to St. Andrews wasn’t exciting enough – Rory’s defense, Watson’s farewell, the Home of Golf for goodness’ sake – we now have the possibility (likelihood?) of Spieth nailing down the year’s first three majors. Whoa. 

Jason Day (+6%): They won’t make a movie out of his gutsy week at the Open, but to finish in the top 10 at the toughest major, on one of the most grueling walks of the year (eight miles, 195 feet of elevation change), with those symptoms, was a remarkable feat.

King Louie (+5%): Would he have won in a rout if he weren’t paired with Tiger? Only half kidding, because that sweet swing was grooved at Chambers. Just in time for his St. Andrews Open defense.

Michael Greller (+4%): Spieth’s caddie was so popular at Chambers Bay, he purposely kept his head down to avoid getting distracted by all of the reminders from his past, including his former students and principal. A well-deserved, full-circle journey for one of the game’s good dudes.

Steve Williams (+3%): OK, so Chambers’ greens didn’t reward the best putters, but surely it’s not just a coincidence that Adam Scott challenged for a major with Stevie back on the bag. He’ll be a force the rest of the year.


FALLING

Branden Grace (-1%): One of golf’s most underrated talents missed only two fairways Sunday, but his foul ball on 16 was one of the worst shots of the week – at least 50 yards right of where he was aiming.

DJ (-3%): Gotta feel for Johnson, who had almost no chance to hole that lightning-fast eagle putt. He is the sport’s Teflon man, but this close call will hurt even more than his other near-misses.

Phil’s Grand Slam hopes (-4%): Chambers was his last best chance to win that elusive Open, and he got his annual flirtation out of the way on Thursday. As he gets more crooked off the tee, his only other reasonable opportunity is Erin Hills in 2017. He’ll be 47. 

Tiger (-5%): Another start, another worst-ever performance. Maybe he’s done. Maybe he’s not. But his fall from grace has been so dramatic, how incredible would it be if he were to once again come back and win?

Chambers Bay (-6%): The course is spectacular visually and a blast to play under normal conditions, but it proved to be seriously flawed for an Open: the USGA wasn’t as forthcoming about the quality of the greens as it should have been, and the spectator experience was one of the worst this scribe has ever witnessed. Rare is the Open one-off, but many obstacles remain before another major comes back to University Place. 

Mike Davis (-8%): Though he should be applauded for dialing up a lively Sunday setup, it’s clear now that he plays too prominent of a role at the year’s second major. With so much pent-up frustration with the USGA – the past failures, the anchor ban, the pre-Chambers bluster – this was a make-or-break Open for Davis and Co. He seemed to lose many players’ trust, perhaps for good.   

Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

Getty Images

Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

Getty Images

Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”