PGA Tour, LPGA, Euros: Who’s up, who’s down and will Rahm win a major this year?


Each week we take a look at four players we expect to rise and fall when Golfweek’s Sagarin rankings are updated Monday:

PGA Tour

Two up

9. Jon Rahm

When will Rahm knock off his first career major victory? He’s won all over the world and now in a variety of formats after taking the two-man Zurich Classic event with Ryan Palmer. He’s still just 24 years old and playing with a consistency that suggests he could be ready to take one of three remaining majors in 2019.

40. Lucas Glover 

His T-18 Zurich Classic finish with Chez Reavie gives him 11 top-25 finishes in 14 starts this season. That’s kind of a lot! The 2009 U.S. Open champ has been out of the discussion for years and hasn’t won since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. Glover could very well end that winless stretch this season, and he’s in the field this week at Quail Hollow. Just sayin’.

Two down

102. Cameron Champ 

The 23-year-old bomber won his second start of the season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and tore it up all fall. Big expectations were placed. Now he has four missed cuts in his last five events, including an early exit at the Zurich Classic and a mid-round injury WD from the Players Championship. The rookie made it look easy when he arrived on Tour, but lately it’s been anything but.

50. Jordan Spieth 

The slump continues coming off a T-54 at the RBC Heritage, and he hasn’t cracked the top 10 in 17 starts since a T-9 at the British Open. He also just saw former Zurich Classic playing partner Ryan Palmer get a victory with Jon Rahm one year after Palmer and Spieth missed the cut. Here’s guessing Spieth’s winless stretch won’t quite match the nine-year streak Palmer just ended in New Orleans.

– Dan Kilbridge

LPGA Tour

Two up

52. Gaby Lopez

Third top-10 finish in last four starts for the former Razorback. Lopez became only the second Mexican player to win on the LPGA, joining Lorena Ochoa last fall in China. The 25-year-old has put together a consistent 2019 thus far.

73. Megan Khang

The 5-foot-1-inch player packs a punch. Notched her second top 10 of the season in Los Angeles on the strength of a third-round 64. In the conversation for potential Solheim Cup rookie.

Two down

48. Anna Nordqvist 

Took a lot of putts at Wilshire. The eight-time LPGA winner has yet to crack the top 20 this season. Ranks 100th in putting on tour.

21. Sung Hyun Park 

The feast-or-famine trend continues for the former No. 1. Missed the cut at the LA Open after taking a share of 52nd at the ANA. Don’t expect her to dip for too long though.

–Beth Ann Nichols

European Tour

Two up

80. Matt Wallace

Wallace was toiling on mini tours less than three years ago. Now he’s playing with Europe’s best in major championships. There’s much of Ian Poulter in the 29-year-old Englishman. Like Poulter, Wallace has come from humble beginnings but possesses an enormous work ethic and will to win. It’s taken him to four European victories in the last two years with more expected.

42. Lucas Bjerregaard

If you’re looking for a reason why the Dane is suddenly playing in the tournaments that matter, then a glance at his stats provides the answer. He’s consistently averaged 70 percent plus in greens in regulation and over 300 yards off the tee, but last year he cut his stroke average by almost a shot over the previous season. Four strokes better per tournament goes a long way.

Two down

51. Thomas Pieters

Hard to believe Pieters has fallen so low in the European and world hierarchy. Anyone who saw the Belgian play in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine would have expected him to have starred for Europe last year, yet he wasn’t even close to making the trip to Paris. He seemed to have recovered his mojo last year when he had three top 10s in four events, including T-6 in the PGA Championship only to go MIA again this year.

118. Ross Fisher

The long-hitting Englishman is a five-time European winner, with consecutive years between 2007-2010 with at least one victory. He won the bottom of the food chain Tshwane Open in 2014 but hasn’t had a W since. He’s had six seconds since, but the 2010 Ryder Cup player has underperformed recently considering his immense talent.

–Alistair Tait

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