Stock Up, Stock Down for the Top Golfers Under 25 Years Old
For some people, playing the stock market is an exciting adventure. They like experiencing the ups and downs of that financial roller coaster.
For golfers on the PGA Tour, the ups and downs of a difficult career are not so much a thrill ride as a quest to establish themselves on the tour and build a quality lifestyle.
Obviously, this is especially true for golfers under 25, some of whom constantly battle to find consistency.
As history has shown us, consistency is not very easy to find, and the struggle to find it has ruined many fledgling careers.
Here's a list of eight players, four of whom are in the stock-up category and four of whom are in the stock-down category at this point in the 2014 season.
Up: Harris English
In 2013, Harris English won the FedEx St. Jude Classic and finished in the top 10 four times.
This year, he's already won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and has finished in the top 10 six times in just 15 starts.
Is there any reason not to think this 24-year-old is capable of having a monstrous career on the PGA Tour?
English is sixth in FedEx Cup points and 40th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Stock up big time for English.
Up: Jordan Spieth
Spectacular, tremendous, powerful.
Those adjectives, plus any others you'd care to add, are perfect descriptions of Jordan Spieth in 2014.
He had a great chance to win the Masters in early April. He was second in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and also has T4 and T5 finishes.
Oh yeah, and he's played in 13 events thus far and has made nearly $3 million.
Spieth is definitely a stock-up superstar in the making.
Up: Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has had a fine season thus far on the PGA Tour.
He has already put up numbers that are close to surpassing last year's totals.
His game is definitely much better, and he looks like a guy who is ready to become a serious factor every time a major championship is held.
Two things will serve as motivation for him this year: blowing a final-round lead at the Honda Classic and falling out of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in 169 weeks.
Definitely stock up for McIlroy.
Up: Seung-Yul Noh
A year ago,suffered through a big-time sophomore slump on the PGA Tour.
How bad was it? He missed the cut 13 times in the 25 events he entered. He fell short of earning $400,000, but that was enough for him to keep his card for another year.
What a difference a year makes. Noh has been a much better player this season and picked up his first PGA Tour win last week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
But he has also posted four top 25s and two top 10s and has missed one cut.
And he's still just 22 years old.
Definite stock up for Noh.
Down: Patrick Reed
Is it pure coincidence that 23-year-old Patrick Reed has missed two cuts and finished T48 and T52 in his other two starts since declaring himself a top-five player in the world?
After winning the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, Reed said in an interview with NBC, as reported by GolfChannel.com, that he believed his hard work and accomplishments this year should put him among the game's elite.
He's not hitting fairways or driving it particularly well, and he is barely in the top 100 on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation.
What appeared to be a sparkling season in the making has suddenly hit the skids, and the 25th-ranked player in the world has work to do to turn it around before top five is not only out of reach but also out of sight.
Down: Hideki Matsuyama
As Yogi Berra used to say, his future is ahead of him.
And that's good news for 22-year-old Hideki Matsuyama.
He showed some flashes of what we might expect with a T3 in the Frys.com Open and a T4 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Since then, however, it's been a lot of nothing for Matsuyama. He's definitely experiencing a learning curve and finding it hard to live up to the hype.
Stock down on Matsuyama.
Down: Danny Lee
It's not been easy for Danny Lee to transition from being the youngest U.S. Amateur champion to a professional golfer.
He hadn't won more than $350,000 in a season until this year.
In the early part of the year, he put together a streak of six missed cuts. As a result, he started putting with a claw grip and finished second in his next outing.
Since then, however, he's started going the other way. Obviously, there is still much to learn for the native of South Korea, who now lives in New Zealand.
Down: John Huh
As rookie seasons go, John Huh had a dandy in 2012.
He won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in a playoff, finished T2 in the Valero Texas Open and had four top-10 finishes. Huh won nearly $2.7 million and seemed poised for big things.
Last year, he had two top 10s and missed 11 cuts in his 28 starts. It hasn't gotten much better in 2014. Huh has missed the cut in six of his last nine starts and obviously has some issues that need addressed.
Definite stock down for Huh.