Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Inbee (+8%): Call what she has accomplished whatever you want. This much is indisputable: With seven career majors, she is already one of the best female golfers of the modern era.
Troy Merritt (+5%): How tough is it to win these days on Tour? This relatively little-known 29-year-old, with a world ranking nearing 200 and fresh off five consecutive missed cuts, just went 61-67 on the weekend to steal the Quicken Loans.
Billy Hurley (+3%): With so many questions swirling about his father’s whereabouts, the former Naval officer dug deep and made the cut at RTJ – a testament to the grit and focus that landed him on the big tour.
Rickie (+2%): Five Sunday bogeys spoiled his bid for a third W this season, but now it feels like no deficit is insurmountable. Self-belief is a scary thing.
Tiger (+1%): Has he turned the corner? His lowest 72-hole total in 19 months suggests yes. His recent Greenbrier-Open setback and Saturday 74 in which he was “sucking all over the place” suggests not. If nothing else, his T-18 against a C-level field makes the PGA more compelling.
Charles Howell III (-1%): Even at 36, this all-time nice guy remains an enigma. In position for his first title since 2007, he didn’t make a birdie until his 14th hole and finished outside the top 10. On the plus side, he’s now approaching $30 million in career earnings.
Rory’s return (-2%): There are conflicting reports of a Saturday practice round for the PGA, but it always seemed more likely that he’d miss – the Straits is a tough trek for a player with two healthy ankles. He’s gotta be close to 100 percent to give it a go.
American LPGAers (-3%): Only one U.S. player finished under par at the Women’s British. Worse, there are 14 Americans ranked inside the top 50 in the world – and only three have won this year. These things tend to be cyclical, but it’s alarming nonetheless.
LPGA’s Slam definition (-7%): So, according to the tour, a player could capture the ANA Inspiration, KPMG PGA, Women’s British Open and Evian … and NOT the U.S. Women’s Open … and still be considered a Grand Slam winner. Ha. Nice try.