Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Paul Casey (+9%): Getting better with age, Casey shrugged off his Sunday doldrums in Tampa with a gritty performance on a firm, fiery course that featured stellar driving, clutch par saves and a macho shot from the fairway bunker on the 72nd hole. This checked all of the boxes.
Korda sisters (+6%): Both Nelly and Jessica tied for second at the Founders Cup, and their cheeky interaction afterward fueled hopes that the sister act is about to hit the big time. Nelly, in particular, is a mega-talent who, at 20 years old, is coming into her own.
Jim Furyk (+4%): Props to the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, who backed up his surprising Players performance with another good week in Tampa. Ranked 223rd in the world at the end of last year, he’s all the way up to 54th – and on the verge of securing a Masters berth with a couple of match wins in Austin.
WGC-Dell Match Play (+3%): Ideal prep for the Masters, it is not, but it’s still a fun, unique event that (hopefully) creates a few testy moments between the world’s best players.
Luke Donald (+2%): Plagued by back issues the past few years, the former world No. 1 turned back the clock by contending at Innisbrook – a reminder that a tidy short game and scalding-hot putter never go out of style.
LPGA’s last pairing (-1%): During a final round that turned into a track meet, Yu Liu and Carlota Ciganda combined to play the final 13 holes in ... even par. That included Liu’s nervy bogey on 18 and Ciganda’s woeful attempts to tie the lead over the last few holes. Yikes.
Jason Kokrak (-2%): The weight of 196 starts without a victory finally caused Kokrak to buckle on the 72nd hole in Tampa: He blew his drive right, left his approach short and right of the green, mis-hit a straightforward pitch and then yanked an 8-footer that could have gotten him into a playoff. “I just can’t break through,” he said.
Robert Garrigus (-3%): Popped for failing a drug test for marijuana (ugh), the bigger concern for Garrigus – who has spoken openly about his inner demons – is that he’s relapsed in his quest for a clean lifestyle. Wishing him all the best in his recovery.
Thunderstruck (-4%): It’s kinda crazy this doesn’t happen more often – a cellphone ringing, a car alarm sounding, whatever – but a clap of thunder interrupted Nacho Elvira’s bid for a breakthrough victory on the European Tour. Credit him for rebounding with a 30-footer to force a playoff, but clearly the golf gods weren’t on his side.
P-Reed (-8%): No top-10s on American soil since the U.S. Open, and his game is apparently in such disarray that he turned to David Leadbetter for two emergency range sessions. A green jacket repeat looks unlikely, to say the least.