This Article is About
rory mcilroy
robert garrigus
dustin hoffman
phil mickelson
6 shots
number 31
fedex
tiger woods
putts
Fedex Cup Playoffs Shows How Important Putting Is
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Fedex Cup Playoffs Shows How Important Putting Is

Having been glued to the TV for 4 days watching the Fedex Cup playoffs I paid closed attention to the commentators as I always do. The reason I pay so much close attention to them is twofold. Firstly they know what they are talking about and there is a lot one can learn and secondly I find the stats fascinating.

The BMW Championship was won by Rory McIlroy with an awesome display of power and accuracy off the tee, great course management and a solid putting game.

Hot on his heels were the world’s best players. A leaderboard that has Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Garrigus, Adam Scott and a host of others made for a very strong field.

As the stats were shown it became clear that, despite the course playing soft, player statistics remained pretty constant with anywhere between 60% - 70% of fairways in regulation and a slightly higher percentage for greens in regulation. The difference came in the putting.

And it is the putting I want to talk a little bit about – I’m on a bit of a Putting Crusade at the moment, as I believe this is one aspect of our game we can all improve with just a bit of effort.

On Friday and Saturday Vijay was nailing every putt from all over the place and found himself on top of the leaderboard. But come Sunday and his putter deserted him. Ultimately it was the difference between him making the top 30 and going on to the Tour Championship or going home. Remember this is a guy that has won the Fedex before so he has “been there done that” and knows how to handle the pressure. Sadly for him Vijay will be watching on TV.

Dustin Hoffman played well but on Friday and Saturday his putts were just shaving the hole. He could have been at least 6 shots better over the two days had those putts gone in. Come Sunday and the putts started to drop, giving Justin a top 10 finish.

Robert Garrigus came into the week at number 31 and finished number 12 (if my memory serves me right)! That is a huge leap up the leaderboard and all thanks to a combination of awesome power and some really brilliant putting. On a side note he also had a lot of fun. I enjoy it when the pros smile and appreciate the wonderful jobs they have.

Tiger finished second and the commentator’s mentioned that the difference between Tiger these days and the “old Tiger” is that he is not making the putts he used to make. Like Dustin on previous days Tiger’s attempts were shaving the holes.

McIlroy on the other hand was playing steady golf. I only saw one really bad putt on Saturday where he missed from about 3 foot. For the rest he was very steady making whatever he had to make to stay out of trouble and build his lead.

But the real excitement and tension was on the Fedex playoff leaderboard where the top 30 from this week’s 70 player’s go through to the Tour Championship. Despite finished 8th Vijay drops out at number 33 and it was again interesting to hear the commentators mentioned that just one or two shots during the season makes all the difference to these players.

Let’s put that in perspective.

The player who comes last at the Tour Championship earns $303,000.00.

You might want to read that again. One missed putt and a player loses out on a guaranteed $303,000.00. No wonder the guys were sweating it out at numbers 28 – 32.

Kyle Stanley was one of those and ended up at number 31. I bet it wouldn’t take much to find a hole or two where his putter let him down at some point during the week.

Bill Haas, the defending champion, finished 32nd after missing putts on the last 3 holes - he was that close to making it, as was Vijay.

Lucky number 30 is Scott Piercy who finished tied 37th in the BMW, a massive 9 shots behind Vijay but still enough to be in the final playoff.

$303,000.00 makes a big difference to the year’s earnings so there is a lot to play for during the year in order to make it into the finals.

The Fedex Cup is about consistent performance and these playoffs have once again highlighted the need for a good short game and a reliable putting stroke.

The final is setting up to be an enthralling encounter.

Who will win?

It’s too close to call but my bet is that it will be a player whose putter is hot during the week.

While anticipating the final you may want to get out there and practice your own putting – you and I both know that to score well you need to sink putts. Long drives and good iron play are important (and feel great) but it is around, and on, the greens that the good players rise to the top.

$303,000.00 Wow!


Street Talk

Great article, and with that kind of money for last place I can only imagine what first pays!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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