Buy, Sell or Hold? What to Expect From Golf’s Biggest Stars in 2016

September 28, 2015

The results are in and the numbers don’t lie. Here’s how the blue chip stocks performed this year, along with a prospectus for 2016.

Tiger Woods — Sell. This is a no-brainer what with Woods on the shelf again after yet another operation on his balky back. Plus, he’ll turn 40 in December. How long before he gets his speed back now? Sigh.

Rory McIlroy — Buy. You think he’s going to wreck his ankle playing soccer two years in a row? He looked awesome in winning the WGC-Match Play and Wells Fargo and won’t be too happy about having done so little of consequence during the Summer of Spieth/Day. Rory is due for a rebound.

Jordan Spieth — Hold. Even Spieth admitted he wasn’t sure how he was going to top 2015, when he picked off two majors, five total victories, more than $12 million in official earnings (not counting his $10 million FedEx Cup bonanza) and certain Player of the Year honors. Encore? Really?

Phil Mickelson — Sell. As Tiger himself has said more than once, Father Time is undefeated, and Phil the Thrill hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open. Keep an eye on him at the 2016 Masters, though, as always.

Jason Day — Buy. He had five wins, just like Spieth, but Day got those five Ws in 20 starts while Spieth got his in 25. Day also banked four of his five wins in a torrid eight-week stretch at the end of the season. We’re only just beginning to see how good this guy’s going to be.

Dustin JohnsonHold. He had a nice year, with one win in 21 starts, but it could have been so much better if not for his three-putt par on the final hole at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. Can this guy keep it together for once and validate his massive talent in a major? Time will tell.

Adam Scott — Buy. Scott, 35, is coming off a flat 2015, the highlight a T4 at the U.S. Open. (His playoff run, such as it was, ended with a missed cut at the Barclays.) But Scott became a dad this year, and he was surely distracted by the looming anchoring ban arriving next year. All of which makes him a bargain buy. Expect him to rebound by next summer.

Jimmy Walker — Buy. He had two wins in 24 starts, but his usual A-game pretty much disappeared from June onward. A lackluster year in the majors (T38, T58, T30, MC) should leave him hungry for 2016.

Danny Lee — Hold. Lee won for the first time in 2015, playing his way onto the International Presidents Cup team that will soon take on the U.S. in Korea. He also notched a T2 in the Tour Championship at East Lake. But he also started 36 tournaments this year and could be golfed out.

Davis Love III — Sell. Victory at the Wyndham Championship last month will almost surely be the senior’s last, especially now that he will turn his attention to captaining the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Brooks Koepka — Buy. The winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Koepka turned in top-20 finishes at the U.S. and British Opens. Then came his head-turning T5 at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, after he opened with a 73. Guy can play.

Rickie Fowler — Hold. His electrifying win at the Players gave way to more victories at the Scottish Open and Deutsche Bank. Now, though, Fowler must break through golf’s new Big Three of Spieth, Day and McIlroy in order to win a major. Is that even possible?

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