PGA Tour Stock Watch: Who's Rising and Falling in Lead-Up to U.S. Open?

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2013

PGA Tour Stock Watch: Who's Rising and Falling in Lead-Up to U.S. Open?

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    The PGA Tour's best are gearing up for the season's second major and preparing to hit the course at the Memorial Tournament. So it's time to have a look at their stock movements, now that the closing bell has tolled.  

    In addition to champion gator-caller and gorilla-wrestler Boo Weekley's return to the winner's circle for the first time in 124 tournaments, and the predictable uptick in his stock, there has been much movement in our index.

    Who's rising? Who's falling faster than Sergio Garcia's favorability rating? Read on to find out. 

Stock Up: Boo Weekley

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    Not surprisingly, winning on the PGA Tour boosts a golfer's stock.

    Boo Weekley had a mixed basket of results during the tour's Texas swing: He missed the cut at the Byron Nelson, and won at Colonial.

    The golfer's first win in five years, plus a strong showing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month (T-6) indicate that the 39-year-old Floridian is heading in the right direction.

Stock Down: Ian Poulter

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    Poults hasn't been playing well lately...but at least he looks good.

    Since the WGC Accenture Match Play, Poulter has dropped from 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking to 16th.

    Most recently, the Englishman completed his two rounds at one of the European PGA Tour's most significant events, the BMW PGA Championship, in eight over par, missing the cut by six strokes. 

    He hasn't fared much better on this side of the pond as of late. Poulter missed the cut at the Masters in mid-April, and at the Players as well. 

    Clearly, the proprietor of IJP Design has some soul-searching to do. 

Stock Up: Zach Johnson

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    Zach Johnson was ranked 17th in the OWGR after he won at Colonia last year. This year, the Iowan found himself in the 29th spot entering the tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. 

    Johnson has made cuts this year—10 of 13, to be precise. However, he hadn't finished better than a tie for 18th prior to the Colonial. With a stellar final-round 66, though, the former Masters champion notched a third-place finish at course where he was victorious last year. 

    The result was Johnson's first top 10 since last year's Open Championship. 

Stock Down: Seung-Yul Noh

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    Seung-Yul Noh finished 40th in the FedEx Cup standings last year, making 24 of 28 cuts for the season. 

    By the Shell Houston Open this year, the South Korean had already missed more cuts in 2013 than he had in all of 2012.

    Unfortunately, the downward trend has continued since that point. Even though the golfer finished tied for 62nd at the Crown Plaza Invitational, his play is a far cry from last year's form.

    2013 is looking very much like a sophomore slump for Noh in his second full season on tour...or maybe it's just the product of his new Nike clubs. 

Stock Up: Hunter Mahan

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    After a dismal missed cut at the Masters, Hunter Mahan has made four consecutive cuts. Most recently, the golfer finished tied for 26th at the Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial in his home state. 

    Should Mahan, who won twice last year, be playing better? To be sure. However, after firing 76, 82 in the opening rounds of the season's first major, he appeared to be heading to a very dark place.

    Four cuts in a row, including a T-19 at the Players, are an indication Mahan is righting the ship. 

Stock Down: Luke Donald

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    Former world No. 1 Luke Donald missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour's flagship event. 

    He's made the cut in all seven of his starts on the PGA Tour in 2013, finishing outside of the top 25 only once. However, it's been more than a year since the Englishman's last victory (2012 Transitions Championship). 

    For a golfer who entered 2013 determined to win majors, a tie for 25th at the Masters and a missed cut at the BMW just won't do. 

Stock Up: Peter Uihlein

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    So, he's not on the PGA Tour...he's an American on the European tour. However, Peter Uihlein's stock is rapidly increasing in value. 

    The 2010 U.S. Amateur Champion couldn't hack it at Q School in 2011. Without status on the PGA Tour, he made the unconventional decision to play on the European Tour's developmental circuit, the Challenge Tour. 

    His story from that point has been incredible, and too lengthy to recount here. However, most recently, Uihlein won the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal and finished tied for 12th at the BMW PGA Championship. 

    The Massachusetts native's stock is most certainly on the rise.  

Stock Down: Vijay Singh

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    In addition to the deer antler spray soap opera, Singh hasn't exactly been playing great golf this year. By way of explanation: he's getting older, and he has a few "off the course issues." Regardless, the Fijian hasn't finished better than a tie for 20th this season. 

    Most recently, he missed the cut at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Prior to that, Singh finished tied for 80th at the Byron Nelson and missed the cut at the Players and the RBC Heritage. 

    Vijay's stock price is dwindling nearly as rapidly as the number of his supporters.  

Stock Up: Keegan Bradley

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    It was disappointing when, at the HP Byron Nelson, Keegan Bradley was unable to ride the momentum of a first-round 60 to victory. Still, the golfer turned in a second-place finish, which is movement in the right direction after three miserable showings.

    Beginning with the Masters, where Bradley carded an odious third-round 82, and continuing through two missed cuts, the golfer was off his game. The strong showing at Byron's tournament, however, indicates a reversal of fortune for the St. Johns alum. 

Stock Down: Rory McIlroy

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    Rory McIlroy's game at the BMW looked worse than he did in his winter hat.

    Really though, for McIlroy, who had been steadily rebounding following the events of the Honda Classic, a missed cut at the BMW is a step backwards.

    That the rounds of 74 and 75 came on the heels of a tie for eighth at the Players Championship, made the poor performance that much more disconcerting. 

Stock Up: Graeme McDowell

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    Graeme McDowell, too, missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship. However, the resultant slight downward movement in his stock shouldn't obscure the fact that it has been skyrocketing in value in the lead-up to the U.S. Open.

    McDowell won the RBC Heritage and then the Volvo Match Play two weeks later. With wins on both major tours in a one month span, McDowell, Inc. is rapidly increasing in value.  

Stock Down: Sergio Garcia

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    Following his performance on the course at the Players Championship, and his whining off the course at the same tournament, it was difficult to imagine that Sergio could do something to inspire an even larger sell-off of his stock.

    With two words, though, the Spaniard did just that. 

    There was one bright spot on the week for Garcia, though: He finished tied for 19th. 

Stock Up: Ryo Ishikawa

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    Ryo Ishikawa, a veritable missed-cut machine to start the year, has made the cut in six out of his last seven starts on tour.

    The highlight of this upturn for the young Japanese star was a tie for 10th at the HP Byron Nelson Championship

    Speculation was beginning to swirl three months ago that the phenom might be a bust on the PGA Tour. However, Ishikawa very much looks to be on the right track now, which is a good thing for those who want to see more bright tones and color coordination on the fairways of the tour. 

Stock Down: Jeff Overton

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    It's hard to feel bad for Jeff Overton following his disqualification at Colonial.

    It's moderately understandable that Overton wouldn't know that he couldn't use a practice aid while practicing his putting at a designated practice area, while waiting for a backup at the 10th tee to clear.

    However, taking to Twitter to lambaste the starter/official who gave him permission to practice (and failed to remind the golfer that he couldn't use a practice aid), and flippantly tweeting that he'd have to "go back and memorize a couple hundred pages of the rules book," aren't exactly classy moves from Overton.