Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Jon Rahm (+9%): It’s no small task, contending at the Masters and then flying 14 hours to play in your home open, but the 23-year-old star, fueled by adrenaline, kept his emotions in check and shot 20 under to win. Stud.
Brooke Henderson (+7%): Her aggressive mindset will occasionally get her in trouble, but what a fun way to play – gripping and ripping, fearlessly attacking flags and ramming home putts. She’s the most entertaining LPGA player, by far.
Satoshi Kodaira (+5%): Not even Kodaira was thinking about winning Sunday at Harbour Town – not in just his 15th career Tour start, and not after a 66 that included a bogey on the 71st hole. And yet here we are …
Steve Flesch (+4%): He endured a marathon Saturday to win in his first season on the senior circuit, then said something afterward that really resonated – that it’s harder to win on the PGA Tour Champions that he expected. Game recognize game.
Luke List (+2%): He reminds of Kevin Kisner a few years ago: Racking up good finishes, continually putting himself in position and knocking on the door for a breakthrough W. It seems like just a matter of time for List, who now has three top-5s this season.
Ian Poulter (-1%): What happens when the tank hits empty? It looks a lot like Poulter’s final round at the Heritage. Playing his sixth straight week, he stumbled home in 40.
Nacho Elvira (-2%): The pressure to win at home is immense. Tied for the lead, he made an awful double bogey on the 71st hole (finding the water, then whiffing a short putt) to hand Rahm the Spanish Open title.
Valero (-3%): With Masters champ Patrick Reed bowing out, the field at brutish TPC San Antonio is headlined by Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar. And it won’t improve next year, either, as the final tuneup before Augusta is held at a course that couldn’t be any less Augusta-like.
Distance debate (-4%): Sorry, but Harbour Town isn’t an example of what today’s courses should be. Players at the Heritage barely hit driver, and last we checked, it’s a skill to hit long, straight drives. Using only 13 clubs is not a true test of golf.
Si Woo Kim’s putting (-7%): It’s telling that Kim actually improved in the strokes-gained category (to 202nd!) after his playoff loss at the Heritage, even after a round in which he lost three shots to the field on the greens and missed four consecutive putts inside 8 feet to drop into a playoff. Yowsers.