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PGA Tour

Putting Jordan Spieth in the shade after Heritage was worst PGA Tour winning performance in 13 years

Jordan Spieth struggled with the putter at RBC Heritage. Jared C. Tilton

By Alex Myers
By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen the shocking clip of Jordan Spieth missing a tap-in par putt on No. 18 during Saturday’s third round of the RBC Heritage. Of course, Spieth was able to overcome the short miss by winning on Sunday, but the more troubling part for the now 12-time PGA Tour winner is that the one-footer wasn’t a one-off.

Spieth putted poorly the entire week as evidenced by him losing .636 strokes per round on the greens at Harbour Town. Even on Sunday when he saved his best for a final-round 66, he still missed par putts from four feet and five feet on Nos. 9 and 11.

Overall, Spieth ranked 60th in strokes gained/putting among the 71 players that made the cut. And according to 15th Club’s Justin Ray, it was the worst putting performance by a PGA Tour winner in 13 years. Yep, 13 years.

Spieth is tied for 179th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained/putting this season, which explains why he only has the 95th-best scoring average despite the fact that he’s hitting it great (19th in strokes gained/tee-to-green).

Spieth has ranked second on tour in SGP twice (2015-2016 and 2018-2019), but has finished 105th and 33rd the past two seasons before his career-worst -.430 in the current campaign. According to Data Golf, he’s lost strokes to the field on the greens in his past four stroke-play events and in six of his last eight, including a first-ever missed cut at the Masters.

“I’ve got a lot more work to do,” Spieth said after of his struggles on the greens. “I’ve been putting a lot of work into my full swing, and that certainly takes away some of the time you put into other parts of your game, including putting.”

Of course, it helps when you hole out from off the green — or almost hole out like in the playoff against Patrick Cantlay — seemingly every other hole, but that’s clearly not a winning formula usually. Even if those other parts of your game are as good as Jordan Spieth’s are.

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