Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Jordan Spieth (+8%): There’s no letup in this kid, as he made abundantly clear during his demoralizing romp in paradise. This year is going to be fun.
Patrick Reed (+5%): That’s now seven consecutive top-10s worldwide for Reed, who finished 22 under par (better than his winning total last year), went bogey-free for 68 holes and still got lapped by Spieth. That will only push him harder.
Jason Day (+4%): While some of his peers chased appearance money all over the globe last fall, the world No. 2 stayed home with his growing family and hardly played. A rusty performance at Kapalua still netted him a top-10 finish, a promising start to an important campaign.
Texas (+3%): Moving forward, Longhorns coach John Fields needs only to point potential recruits to the worldwide results from Jan. 10, 2016: 22-year-old Jordan Spieth, 1st, PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions; 22-year-old Brandon Stone, 1st, European Tour’s South African Open. That’ll do.
West Coast swing (+2%): Torrey Pines might lack some star power later this month, but Pebble (seven of the top 10) and Riviera (Jordan and Rory, among others) will enjoy their strongest fields in years. As they should.
Brooks Koepka (-1%): Though a third-round 63 in tougher conditions eased concerns about his equipment change, one of the Tour’s rising stars (and longest hitters) fell flat in the final pairing and failed to apply any pressure on Spieth.
Michelle Wie (-2%): She must really be lost if she’s receiving chipping lessons from a recent yip victim.
Luke Donald (-4%): His talk of retirement, at age 38, is just another reminder of how precarious the No. 1 spot can be.
Hightops/joggers ensemble (-5%): Sorry, but we’re going to need to see some definitive proof that “the kids” actually dig this look.
Faux Ryder Cup controversy (-8%): The only thing Justin Thomas’ answer to the Ryder Cup-or-major? hypothetical revealed was the camaraderie of these young studs and how desperately they want to win together. Drawing any other conclusion – It’s a p.r. move! He should worry about advancing his own career! – should warrant a Twitter timeout.