Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Ariya (+7%): She hasn’t been the dominator that everyone expected after her five-win, Player of the Year campaign, but Jutanugarn is officially where she belongs – atop the world rankings.
Daniel Berger (+5%): Pushing too hard for the U.S. Presidents Cup team, he got back in his comfort zone in Memphis and defended his title. Now No. 5 in the standings, Boog and his bravado would be a welcome addition.
Braden Thornberry (+4%): Won five times in college this season … took the NCAA title by a comfortable margin … earned the Haskins Award … and then tied for fourth in his Tour debut. This kid looks like the real deal.
U.S. Palmer Cup team (+2%): The Americans throttled Team Europe by nine points over three days at Atlanta Athletic Club. That’s good news for Walker Cup captain Spider Miller – many of these same players will don the red, white and blue in September.
Love affair (+1%): If Steve Stricker qualifying for his home Open is this year’s feel-good story, then Davis Love III caddieing for son Dru (who got into the field as an alternate) at his first major is 1B.
Open baby (-1%): Apparently, there won’t be a major this year without some DJ drama. After missing the Masters with a freak back injury, the world No. 1 won’t arrive at Erin Hills until Tuesday, at the earliest, after fiancée Paulina delivered the couple’s second baby.
Phil (-2%): It’s not Mickelson’s physical game that has kept him out of the winner’s circle for nearly four years. No, after going so long without a victory, it’s his mental game that needs work – he admittedly was shaken by seeing his name atop the FedEx leaderboard, and he promptly triple-bogeyed his next hole to shoot himself out of contention.
Private-jetting into the Open (-3%): The only chance Lefty has of playing the U.S. Open is a four-hour weather delay on Thursday. Does it matter? He’d be a long shot anyway, heading to the first tee without hitting a shot on the quirky design.
Lexi (-5%): Cruising in Canada, she made four bogeys in the last seven holes and completely lost her putting stroke. For 22, she has already accumulated a lot of scar tissue.
Kevin Na’s complaints (-7%): Yes, the fescue at Erin Hills is so tall that a small child will likely go missing. So don’t hit it there – these are perhaps the widest fairways in Open history.