307 feet, 2 inches – Spieth dialing long distance at Colonial
May 24, 2019
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Jordan Spieth drains three putts over 40 feet at Charles Schwab
FORT WORTH, Texas – Total feet of putts made by Jordan Spieth on Thursday at the Charles Schwab Challenge: 152 feet, 11 inches.
Total feet of putts made by Spieth on Friday: 154 feet, 3 inches.
Add it up and that’s 307 feet, 2 inches – just a little longer than a football field.
And yet, from Spieth’s perspective, his first two rounds at Colonial were significantly different in the putting department. So were his scores – an opening 5-under 65, followed by Friday’s 70 that leaves him at 5 under and tied for fifth going into the weekend.
While the total feet of putts made slightly favors Friday’s performance, the Strokes Gained: Putting numbers show just how impressive his putting was the previous day.
His 5.464 Strokes Gained on the greens Thursday is his highest single total in any round of his career. He was a perfect 15 for 15 inside 15 feet. Compare that to Friday, when his Strokes Gained: Putting was 1.196. He missed three of 17 putts inside 10 feet, and had two more misses inside 15 feet.
“I thought today was average; I thought yesterday was spectacular,” Spieth said. “Yesterday was one of those where just get it on the green and the ball is going in. Just in to the zone totally."
“Today I missed maybe an 8-footer and a couple 5-footers, but then I made a couple long ones to make up for it.”
The good news on those misses is that Spieth just mis-read them. From a stroke standpoint, he hit them exactly where he was aiming.
“That’s the difference in where I am at now versus where I’ve been the last year and half, couple years,” Spieth said. “When I miss those putts, I hit them exactly where I wanted to. That’s a great feeling."
“I feel like I have stroke feel to start the ball online where I want to, and that’s going to serve me well as long as I continue to have that same feel and it works for me.”
If there was a similarity between the two rounds, it was all the bombs he kept dropping at Colonial.
His first round included putts from 46-4 and 30 feet. On Friday, he rolled in a birdie attempt from 50 feet, 1 inch at the 10th hole – the longest putt he’s ever made at Colonial – and followed that at the 12th hole with a putt from 46 feet, 10 inches. It was the first time he’s made three putts from outside 40 feet in any single round in his PGA TOUR career.
For good measure, he finished with a birdie at 18 from just outside 16 feet.
Not many how you view it, the last two days have been spectacular for Spieth from long distance.
“Maybe in a week, you look at maybe making one of those putts over 30 feet if you get enough of them,” he said.
The greens at Colonial, he added, might have something to do with it.
“On these greens, I would say they can yield longer putts going in,” Spieth noted. “Just not much going on on the greens. I may have 40 feet, but it might be left edge. So if I start somewhere around the left edge with somewhere around the right speed, it’s going to scare the hole."
“With the kind of speed control and stroke feel I’ve had, I feel like it’s going to start around where I’m looking and be around the right speed. With less going on on the greens and the speeds being down a little bit where you can really pop them, I don’t think it’s totally unusual. But certainly a good couple days putting that save me and has given me a chance this weekend.”
Of course, with the way he’s been putting, it seems surprising his score is not better. He said he “lost a little bit of the feel in my swing” compared to earlier in the week and knows it will be important to regain that feel if he hopes to win at Colonial for the second time in his career and end his two-year victory drought.
The key will be greens in regulation. He’s hit just 20 of 36 through the first two rounds, ranking him in the middle of the field. Keep an eye on that number this weekend. If it improves, he should remain in the hunt.
“No. 1 priority,” Spieth said. “If I can hit double the greens that I hit these two rounds, I feel like I’ve got a great chance when it comes down to the last few holes Sunday. I mean, it’s that simple … got to get the ball on the putting surface.”
Once that happens … well, a football field of putts made pretty much speaks for itself.