Stock Watch for Players in the 2013 Presidents Cup

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

Stock Watch for Players in the 2013 Presidents Cup

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Through nine months of the year, golf is about as individual a sport as you can find.

    It's dog eat dog for the golfers on the PGA Tour in North America and the same holds true in international tournaments.

    Team golf takes over in October, as the Presidents Cup takes center stage at Muirfield Village.

    While the American golfers have struggled quite badly against Europe's best in the Ryder Cup, the Americans have dominated against the World golfers in the President's Cup.

    The two sides will engage in alternate-shot, best-ball and singles matches over the four days of the tournament. It's not about the individual glory in this match, it's simply about which team can prove its superiority and raise the Presidents Cup.

    Here's the stock watch of the 24 competitors in this event.

Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson; USA

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods

    Accomplishments

    Won five PGA tournaments; earned $8,553,439. Won PGA Player of the Year Honors.

     

    Recent form

    Five tournament victories is a remarkable achievement, but Tiger struggled after winning the Bridgestone Invitational in early August. He finished 40th in the PGA Championship and he did not reach the top 10 in four of the next five events. Tiger did not win a major event for the fifth straight year, and his performance in the most visible events has not been stellar. As the standard bearer for the American team, he could feel the pressure in this event as well.

     

    Stock Watch

    Slightly down.

     

    Brandt Snedeker

    Accomplishments

    Two tournament victories and two second-place finishes; earned $5,318,087.

     

    Recent form

    In many ways, Snedeker's year has been similar to Tiger's. After winning the RBC Canadian Open in late July, Snedeker has not been playing his best golf. He has played seven tournaments since then and he failed to make the cut in two of them. He has just one top-10 finish in that streak and he finished 66th in the PGA Championship and 47th in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Snedeker's form is a far cry from the way he was performing though much of the 2013 season.

     

    Stock Watch

    Shaky.

     

    Phil Mickelson

    Accomplishments

    Won two tournaments, including the British Open; earned $5,495,793.

     

    Recent form

    Mickelson recorded perhaps the most impressive victory of his career when he won the British Open in July. That triumph was highly unexpected because Mickelson had never performed at his best when playing a links course, but he fired a final round 66 at Muirfield in Scotland to earn his first Claret Jug. While Mickelson has not won since then, that performance was so powerful that it seems likely Lefty could summon another winning perfromance when the Presidents Trophy is on the line.

     

    Stock Watch

    Playing well, capable of dominating.

Adam Scott, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel; World

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Adam Scott

    Accomplishments

    Won two PGA tournaments, including Masters; earned $4,892,611.

     

    Recent form

    Scott has one of the best swings on the tour and he put it all together when he defeated Angel Cabrera in a playoff at the Masters. That victory was the first major championship of his career and he seemed to gain momentum after that victory. He picked up another victory in the first FedEx Cup playoff event when he won the Barclays.

     

    Stock Watch

    Top of his game.

     

    Jason Day

    Accomplishments

    Seven top-10 finishes, made the cut in all 21 PGA events entered; earned $3,625,030.

     

    Recent form

    Day has not won a tournament this year, but he always finds a way to get close. He tied for eighth in the PGA Championship and he tied for fourth in the BMW Championships in Chicago in September. Day is an excellent shotmaker who can string good performances together, and is quite strong mentally.

     

    Stock Watch

    Strong.

     

    Charl Schwartzel

    Accomplishments

    13 top-25 finishes; earned $2,256,723.

     

    Recent form

    After Schwartzel failed to make the cut at the PGA Championship, he picked up his game quite a bit in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Schwartzel tied for 25th in the Barclays and 22nd at the Deutsche Bank Championship before he made a real run at the BMW Championship. He finished tied for eighth in that event. He struggled to a 29th-place finish (out of 30) in the Tour Championship, but Schwartzel has been hitting the ball fairly well.

     

    Stock Watch

    Solid but not peaking.

Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley; USA

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Matt Kuchar

    Accomplishments

    Two victories, two second-place finishes; earned $5,616,808.

     

    Recent form

    Kuchar was at his best in the first half of the year, but the slippage in the second half has not been great. One thing that can always be counted on is that Kuchar will remain in the battle. He almost never misses the cut, and that's a tribute to his consistency. He finished second in the RBC Canadian Open and tied for fourth in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

     

    Stock Watch

    Consistent.

     

    Jason Dufner

    Accomplishments

    Won the PGA Championship and had five top-10 finishes; earned $3,636,813.

     

    Recent form

    The playful Dufner reached for stardom on the tour when he won the PGA Championship in August with a near-flawless performance. Dufner tied for ninth in the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Tour Championship. His performance in Atlanta was impressive because he struggled in the first two rounds but closed with 66-65. That could indicate that he will be on his game at the Presidents Cup.

     

    Stock Watch

    Playing solid golf.

     

    Keegan Bradley

    Accomplishments

    Two second-place finishes and seven times in the top 10; earned $5,495,793.

     

    Recent form

    Bradley has not won on the tour this year and that has frustrated him, but he has been close and all elements of his game have been working. Unfortunately, they have not been working at the same time. Bradley usually gets amped up for these team events. While that's exciting for fans, he needs to stay calm on the inside if he is going to make his putts.

     

    Stock Watch

    Consistent.

Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama; World

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    David Cannon/Getty Images

    Ernie Els

    Accomplishments

    Seven top-25 finishes; earned $1,173,439.

     

    Recent form

    This has not been the best year for Els, as he did not earn a spot in the Tour Championship. However, when he played in the Deutsche Bank Championship, he broke 70 in all four of his rounds. Els has a long track record of success in the biggest events, and he knows how to rise to the occasion.

     

    Stock Watch

    Ready to pounce.

     

    Louis Oosthuizen

    Accomplishments

    Health struggles have limited Oosthuizen in 2013; earned $497,408.

     

    Recent form

    Oosthuizen had to pull out of the British Open with a neck injury and he hasn't competed in a PGA Tour event since then. However, he told World captain Nick Price that he is healthy and ready to play in all four days of the competition without any issues. If he is true to his word, the smooth-swinging Oosthuizen may be able to put on a show.

     

    Stock Watch

    Unknown due to health issues.

     

    Hideki Matsuyama

    Accomplishments

    Six top-25 finishes in seven PGA Tour events; plans to play on the PGA Tour in 2013-14.

     

    Recent form

    Matsuyama is one of the most accomplished players in Asia. According to Rotoworld, he has made the top 10 in 14-of-15 events he has entered. He had three victories in Japan this year and he is ranked 28th in the world.

     

    Stock Watch

    Surging, but is he prepared for this level of competition?

Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan; USA

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Steve Stricker

    Accomplishments

    Four second-place and eight top-10 finishes; earned $4,440,532.

     

    Recent form

    Stricker has cut back on his tournament appearances this year and that seems to have improved his overall performance. Widely recognized as one of the top shotmakers in the game, Stricker finished second, fourth and second in his last three tournaments.

     

    Stock Watch

    Sharp in all aspects of his game.

     

    Bill Haas

    Accomplishments

    One victory, one third-place and nine top-10 finishes; earned $3,475,563. 

     

    Recent form

    It has been a very solid year for Haas. His victory in the AT&T National earned him a $1,170,000 pay check and while he has been in the top 10 twice since then, his recent form has not been sharp.

     

    Stock Watch

    Somewhat shaky in recent tournaments.

     

    Hunter Mahan

    Accomplishments

    A solid season with five top-10 finishes and 16 within the top 25; earned $3,036,164.

     

    Recent form

    Mahan tied for 13th in the Deutsche Bank Championship and then followed that performance with a strong showing at the BMW Championship (tied for fourth). Mahan is an accurate ball striker who ranks 25th at hitting greens in regulation.

     

    Stock Watch

    He is playing solid golf and has a good chance at having a strong showing in the Presidents Cup.

Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet, Richard Sterne; World

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    Graham DeLaet
    Graham DeLaetJared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Branden Grace

    Accomplishments

    One top-25 finish on the PGA Tour; earned $170,459.

     

    Recent form

    Grace has struggled on the PGA Tour, but he has done much better on the European Tour. Grace has five top-10 finishes, including a semifinal appearance in the Volvo World Match Play Championship. 

     

    Stock Watch

    Solid European Tour player who has rarely risen to the occasion in PGA Tournament action.

     

    Graham DeLaet

    Accomplishments

    DeLaet had seven top-10 finishes; earned $2,834,900.

     

    Recent form

    DeLaet has been at his best throughout the FedEx Cup playoffs. He failed to make the cut a the RBC Canadian Open and the PGA Championship, but then came on with a rush to finish in a tie for second at the Barclays and third in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

     

    Stock Watch

    He is a very solid golfer who has been near the top of his game.

     

    Richard Sterne

    Accomplishments

    Holds down the 38th spot on the World Rankings.

     

    Recent form

    Sterne may be the least well-known player competing for either side and this is his first venture in international team competition at the professional level. Sterne is known as an accurate hitter and a good putter, however he is not known for hitting the ball a long distance. He has won six times on the European Tour.

     

    Stock Watch

    Solid player who will be stepping up in competition.

Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth; USA

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    Jordan Spieth
    Jordan SpiethSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Zach Johnson

    Accomplishments

    One win and eight top-10 finishes; earned $4,044,509.

     

    Recent form

    Johnson is one of the hottest golfers on the tour. In addition to winning the BMW Championship, Johnson has six top-10 finishes in his last seven outings. Johnson is one of the most accurate hitters on the tour, as he ranks eighth in driving accuracy.

     

    Stock Watch

    Perhaps the best form of any American golfer.

     

    Webb Simpson

    Accomplishments

    One second-place finish and five top-10 finishes; earned $2,957,582.

     

    Recent form

    Simpson came through with his best performance in recent months when he finished fourth in the Tour Championship. That was his first top-10 finish since June. Simpson is not a long hitter, but he makes up for that with his accuracy.

     

    Stock Watch

    Simpson was near the top of his game in the Tour Championship, but can he keep it up in the Presidents Cup? 

     

    Jordan Spieth

    Accomplishments

    One victory and three second-place finishes; earned $3,879,820.

     

    Recent form

    Spieth has had a remarkable rookie season, as he has become one of the hottest golfers on the tour. He became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event since 1931 when he captured the John Deere Classic. Since his victory, he has had three top-10 finishes.

     

    Stock Watch

    While he is one of the hottest golfers on the tour, Spieth is going to have to demonstrate that he can handle the pressure of international competition at its highest level.

Angel Cabrera, Brendon De Jonge, Marc Leishman; World

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    Angel Cabrera
    Angel CabreraMichael Cohen/Getty Images

    Angel Cabrera

    Accomplishments

    Six top-25 finishes; earned $1,791,183.

     

    Recent form

    Cabrera rarely has the kind of impressive résumé that allows observers to think he's going to dominate. However, put him in a big event and he's going to perform. Cabrera was at his best in the Masters when he finished second after losing a playoff to Adam Scott.

     

    Stock Watch

    Cabrera is at his best in the big moments and international competition should bring out the best in him.

     

    Brendon de Jonge

    Accomplishments

    13 top-25 finishes; earned $1,795,244.

     

    Recent form

    De Jonge grew up idolizing Nick Price, the captain of the international team. He was thrilled to get the call to play for him and he should be prepared. De Jonge was at his best in the Deutsche Bank Championship when he finished tied for ninth as he recorded four consecutive sub-70 rounds.

     

    Stock Watch

    He seems ready to play his best golf.

     

    Marc Leishman

    Accomplishments

    Eight top-25 finishes; earned $1,491,359.

     

    Recent form

    Leishman put himself in position to contend for a spot on the international team when he finished tied for fourth in the Masters. He is a consistent player who has a lot of decent skills, but he does not have any stellar characteristics.

     

    Stock Watch

    A good but not great player who may be in over his head.