Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Ben Martin (+6%): Wobbly at times, the 27-year-old former Clemson star delivered the goods in Vegas when he needed it most, joining an ever-growing list of bright, up-and-coming stars on Tour.
The Flying Finn (+5%): Last week Mikko Ilonen beat Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson and Henrik Stenson, and now, at No. 33, he’s ranked ahead of Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. Hey, if nothing else, he’s the early favorite for Europe’s newest Ryder Cupper.
Kevin Streelman (+3%): One of the nicest guys on Tour morphs into a cold-blooded, momentum-building, birdie machine on Sundays. If you’re leading an event, Streels is now the last guy you want to see climbing the leaderboard.
Star returns (+2%): Duf returns this week in Perth – an encouraging sign, especially after how distraught he appeared at the PGA – and Tiger is back on the range, making full swings in advance of his December tournament. Welcome news.
PGA Tour booze (+1%): They’re certainly not trailblazers, but Keegan, G-Mac and Freddie Jac have teamed up to create a line of craft beers. As the proud owner of a home kegerator, this is VERY exciting.
LPGA parity (-1%): What happened to the halcyon days of June, when only the tour’s biggest stars won? Nine different winners in the last nine events, and only one was an American (little-known Austin Ernst).
Task Force Overkill (-3%): Committees that oversee committees that eventually select the 12-man roster? Come on. It’s a three-day competition, not quantum physics.
The Hall of Very Good (-4%): The WGHOF blew up the process – and stripped nearly all golf writers of a vote – so that they could induct Mark O’Meara and David Graham? Yawn. And here we thought they were supposed to raise the bar for entry.
Rory’s Masters prep (-5%): The biggest takeaway is not that the world No. 1 is skipping two upcoming events. It’s that the trial, scheduled for February, will undoubtedly pose an unwanted distraction in the spring when the Masters should have his full attention.
Nick Faldo (-7%): His throwaway line about Sergio’s usefulness (or lack thereof) at the 2008 Ryder Cup has apparently damaged his relationship with many of Europe’s biggest names. Ahh, the perils of live television!