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Stock watch: LPGA finale field is too big

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Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jon Rahm (+9%): Once – that’s how many times Rahmbo has finished outside the top 13 since June. Incredibly consistent and continually maturing, he’s poised to take his game to new heights in 2020. 

Sei Young Kim (+7%): Largely overshadowed this year because of Jin Young Ko’s brilliance, Kim saved her best for last, draining a clutch 25-footer on the final hole to earn a third title and pocket the biggest prize in women’s golf history.

Tyler Duncan (+5%): Epitomizing the depth of today's PGA Tour, the 30-year-old Purdue product hadn’t won ANYWHERE since the 2011 Indiana Amateur ... and now he’s a winner.  

Brendon Todd (+3%): At some point he was going to run out of gas, and unfortunately for Todd it happened on the front nine Sunday at Sea Island. His closing 72 cost him a third consecutive win (and a piece of Tour history), but the larger point remains: He’s back, improbably.

Webb Simpson (+1%): The RSM playoff loss means he’s now gone winless over the past 18 months, but since then he’s racked up five runner-up finishes and risen to No. 11 in the world – his best position since 2012. 


FALLING

Rory (-1%): ’Twas a bizarre end to his banner year, with rounds of 64-74-65-73 to finish fourth in Dubai. It added up to McIlroy’s 19th top-10 around the globe this year, but a season-ending title could have sent a strong message heading into 2020.

Frankie Molinari (-2%): The machine is broken, or at least breaking down, after another finish outside the top 40 in Dubai. Since his ugly collapse at the Masters, Molinari doesn’t have a top-10 in 14 starts and looks decidedly ordinary – again.

Sergio (-3%): In what appears to be a make-good for his embarrassing DQ last year in Saudi Arabia, Garcia has generously waived his appearance fee (reportedly in the $550,000 range) to return in 2020. It was yet another sad reminder that a) Garcia was never suspended for taking a machete to the greens, and b) the European Tour continues to have no issue supporting this regime. 

CME format (-4%): The LPGA’s season finale provided a compelling back nine, but that doesn’t mean the format was a rousing success. Sixty is too many players for an all-or-nothing, big-money, free-for-all. They should consider a true playoff system (ending with 30) and maybe even a match-play portion for the final jackpot.