World number five Jordan Spieth has had an undoubtedly tough time on the greens this season as he ranks 190th out of 205 in strokes gained with the putter by qualified players.
Considering that Spieth ranked 42nd in this category in each season from 2014 to 2017, this radical decline in form is baffling.
The three-time major winner has missed putts of all lengths this season, ranking 140th in putts inside five feet, putts from 5-10 feet, putts from 10-15 feet and putts from 15-20 feet.
These marks are made starker by the fact that he’s still performing at an incredibly high level in other areas of his game.
Spieth ranks in the top 20 in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained on shots approaching the green, strokes gained on shots around the green and strokes gained tee to green.
When Spieth’s putting matches the other elements of his game he becomes an unstoppable force which we were all witness to on the final day of the Masters in Augusta, where he tied the best final round score in Masters history, shooting an 8-under 64.
He was on fire with his putter all day until the 18th hole where he missed a simple par putt. He finished at -13 in 3rd place, two strokes behind the champion Reed.
The 2018 US Open in Long Island, New York has now begun and it’s worth noting that at this juncture in each of the past three seasons, Spieth had claimed at least one victory on tour.
This season, he has finished no higher than third at any of the 15 events in which he’s played. He has as many missed cuts as top-10 finishes on the season and hasn’t ranked in the top 20 at any tournament over the past two months.
Golf patrons will, of course, remember Spieth’s infamous final-hole meltdown at the Players Championship last month. After hooking his tee shot in the water, Spieth managed to land his approach shot to within five feet of the hole.
Rather than drain this simple putt that the majority of tour professionals could do in their sleep, Spieth three-putted for a quadruple bogey dropping him from tied 17th to tied 41st.
Just one week later, the young American squandered a 1-foot gimme at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament where golf broadcasting royalty Jim Nantz echoed: “ You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Spieth spoke to ESPN earlier this week regarding his recent struggles, and he said: “Everyone goes through peaks and valleys of results in any part of your game, and I just got a little off in setup, and I’m really starting to bring it back now.
“I had a strong performance on the greens at the Memorial and am trending in the right direction. I have a good chance at a strong second half of the year. Anything similar to the second half of what I did last year would make 2018 an amazing year.”
Spieth has the confidence and talent to mount a serious challenge at Shinnecock Hills and if he can sink some early putts, his confidence will sky-rocket and we can expect some seriously low scores from the young American.
The field at Winnecock Hills is star-studded, with European major winners Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in fine form, world number 1 Dustin Johnson, who last week won the St. Jude Classic in stunning style holding out from 171 yards on the final hole for a walk-off eagle, and we can’t forget golf immortal Tiger Woods, who is finally healthy and eager to add to his collection of 14 major titles.
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