Stock Watch for Golf's Top Stars 1 Week from 2014 US Open
The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 is two weeks away. The world's best golfers are either resting, calibrating and game-planning this week or teeing it up at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
According to odds aggregator Oddschecker, the consensus favorites to raise the U.S. Open Trophy are Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
How are the metaphorical stocks of the above doing in the fictional PGA Tour Star Stock Exchange (where there are no ongoing insider trading investigations)?
Continue reading to find out.
Official World Golf Ranking: 15
FedEx Cup Rank: 4
Last Three Results: T46, T14, T7
2013 U.S. Open: 55
Stock Watch: Following a tie for seventh at the Byron Nelson Championship, Dustin Johnson tied for 14th at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. However, he wasn't convincing at the Memorial Tournament last week, where he finished tied for 46th and was 60th in the field in driving accuracy.
He'll have to improve on that number at Pinehurst, or he won't contend—no matter how stratospheric his tee shots are. As his results have gotten worse the last three times out, Johnson's stock is slumping.
FedEx Cup Rank: 1
Last Three Results: T10, T37, T6
2013 U.S. Open: DNP
Stock Watch: No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, Jimmy Walker has been steady and solid this season.
Since the Masters (where he finished tied for eighth), the adoptive Texan has finished tied for 10th or better in three of his five starts.
His last time out, Walker put together four solid rounds at the Crowne Plaza Invitational (67, 68. 69, 70) and enters the U.S. Open on the heels of two weeks of rest and practice. Three wins this season and recent good form plus rest and a fine-tuned game have Mr. Walker's stock moving up.
FedEx Cup Rank: 95
Last Three Results: T49, Cut, T11
2013 U.S. Open: T2
Stock Watch: Oh, sorry. We're talking about Phil's figurative stock as a golfer, not the stock he allegedly received insider information about...
It's very difficult to make the case that Mickelson, who hasn't finished inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour this season and who is presently embroiled in an FBI probe, is looking good with the U.S. Open a week away. The verdict? Stock down.
FedEx Cup Rank: 5
Last Three Results: T19, T14, T37
2013 U.S. Open: Cut
Stock Watch: A near winner at the Masters earlier this year, Jordan Spieth's stock is trending upward relative to even the high expectations we had for the youngster entering his sophomore season. He's developing a penchant for top-25 finishes, as his recent record indicates.
That measure of consistency and control over his game is exactly what he'll need at the U.S. Open.
FedEx Cup Rank: 33
Last Three Results: 3, Cut, 3
2013 U.S. Open: T45
Stock Watch: Not included here, Sergio Garcia withdrew from the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship his last time out. Forgetting that fact, Garcia has finished inside the top five in two of his last three starts.
Per Rotoworld, the Spaniard is dealing with swelling in his left knee. This isn't a good sign with the U.S. Open just a week away. Garcia won't play well at Pinehurst with distraction and discomfort; thus, his stock is down.
FedEx Cup Rank: 36
Last Three Results: T15, 1 (BMW PGA Championship), T6
2013 U.S. Open: T41
Stock Watch: The newly single Mr. McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour just after announcing his split from fiancee Caroline Wozniacki. Proving this wasn't a fluke, the Ulsterman torched Muirfield Village with an opening 63 in his following tournament.
Although he stumbled with a 78 in the second round (eventually finishing tied for 15th), McIlroy is showing some real signs of life in his game just ahead of the U.S. Open.
FedEx Cup Rank: 3
Last Three Results: T15, Cut, T7
2013 U.S. Open: T28
Stock Watch: Although he missed the cut at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, Matt Kuchar rebounded nicely with a tie for 15th at the Memorial.
Looking at the (narrowly) missed cut as an outlier and broadening the scope to Kuchar's play since the Masters, he's been one of the best golfers on tour. Forget about the MC at Colonial; Kuchar remains a surging golfer heading into the Open.
FedEx Cup Rank: 2
Last Three Results: 3, T48, 1 (the Masters)
2013 U.S. Open: T32
Stock Watch: Bubba Watson had the Memorial Tournament in his grasp as he plodded along the closing nine last week.
He hasn't been falling on his face since winning the Masters. Given his strong showing at a tight, firm and fast golf course last week, it's tough to make the case that the Masters champ is trending downward heading into the season's second major championship.
FedEx Cup Rank: 110
Last Three Results: 5, T7, T34
2013 U.S. Open: T21
Stock Watch: Like Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson seemed well on his way to victory his last time out. Even though he wasn't victorious at the Nordea Masters, he's put together a solid string of finishes and has made five straight cuts on the PGA Tour.
Although he only has one top-10 finish in the U.S. this season, Stenson is playing solid golf. It will be interesting to see if he builds on his two strong showings in Europe at Pinehurst.
FedEx Cup Rank: 12
Last Three Results: T4, 1, T38
2013 U.S. Open: T45
Stock Watch: Adam Scott will enter the season's second major as the top-ranked golfer in the world. His play has been excellent from tee to green the past two weeks. He hit better than 80 percent of fairways at Jack Nicklaus' tight Muirfield Village track and was 22nd in the field in greens in regulation for the week.
Couple these facts with his gritty playoff victory over Jason Dufner at Colonial and his improved putting this season, and the world No. 1 seems poised for a strong showing at the U.S. Open.
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