Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
JT (+9%): Didn’t need to validate his Player of the Year campaign, but his two wins this season – both in playoffs, in challenging conditions, when he didn’t have his best – revealed the completeness of this kid’s game. It’s shaping up to be another monster year.
Jessica Korda (+7%): With 27 screws in her still-numb face following double-jaw surgery, Korda somehow blitzed the field in Thailand. Never again should we hear about how a player gutted out a win through a sore back.
Tiger (+6%): As much as Woods has preached patience, it was impossible not to feel something last weekend. His encouraging play proves that the magic is still in there.
Sam Burns (+3%): The reigning college player of the year was already going to receive the maximum allotment of sponsor exemptions this season, but his star-making performance at the Honda – he stared down Red Shirt on Sunday, beating him by two with a bogey-free round – should have tournament directors salivating.
Euros (+2%): Ball-striking savants Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood continue to take the PGA Tour by storm, racking up a pair of high finishes in South Florida. Wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see one of them pick off a major this year.
JT’s Ryder Cup debut (-1%): Thomas’ frustration with numbskull fans has been building for a while, but giving a spectator the boot only emboldens others who now know they can get under his skin. Paris could get ugly.
WGC-Mexico (-2%): Five of the top 13 players in the world are skipping the event south of the border. Some of it is because of travel logistics, sure, but the tourney is also held on a fun-but-weird course at elevation that doesn’t help guys at all as they prep for Augusta.
Lexi (-3%): Seriously, at this point, just call for an official with every ruling.
PGA National’s greens (-4%): The best players in the world were putting on spray-painted sand last week. The 18-year-old greens are due for a re-grassing in Summer 2019, but the Honda will risk losing its field if the quality doesn’t improve.
Two-hole aggregate (-8%): Getting rid of the antiquated 18-hole playoff makes sense – attention spans are short and TV partners rule the world – but the number of extra holes does not. The USGA probably didn’t want to copy the PGA (if its past pettiness is any indication), but if a three-holer works just fine for the Women’s Open, why does it not for the men?