2019 Charles Schwab Challenge: Round 1 - Focus on the 11th

2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

With a Hot Putter, Jordan Shoots 5-Under 65 at Colonial

Jordan Spieth showed promising signs at last week’s PGA Championship. His third-place finish at Bethpage Black was his best finish in more than a year. The former FedExCup champion jumped from 150th to 91st in this season’s standings after finishing in the top 10 for the first time this season.

On Thursday, he continued to move in the right direction during the opening round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. And he did it with a hot putter. Spieth recorded the best Strokes Gained: Putting round of his career. Here’s a closer look at Thursday’s putting performance:

  • Spieth’s gained 5.5 strokes on Colonial’s greens. It was just the second time that he gained more than 5 strokes on the greens in a single round. Spieth is 11th in Strokes Gained: Putting this season after finishing 123rd last season. Four of the seven best Strokes Gained: Putting rounds of his career have come since March.
  • He’s coming off the best putting week of his career, as well. Spieth gained a career-best +10.6 strokes on the greens at the PGA Championship. He led the field in that statistic, finishing more than three strokes ahead of the next-best player (Luke List, +7.22).
  • Over his last five rounds, Spieth has gained more than 3 strokes per day on the greens. By comparison, he’s never gained more than +0.76 strokes per round over an entire season.
  • Since the start of the PGA Championship, Spieth has made 20 of 23 putts from 4-8 feet. That’s 89%. He was 5 for 5 from 4-8 feet Thursday. The TOUR average from that distance was 68%. The field only made 65% of its putts from 4-8 feet las week at Bethpage Black.
  • Spieth also made two putts from outside 20 feet Thursday, including a 46-footer on the fourth hole. He holed three putts from outside 20 feet last week.
  • He’s also made more than half of his putts from 10-15 feet since the start of the PGA Championship (9 of 16). The PGA TOUR made 30% of those putts last season. Even in his FedExCup-winning season of 2015, Spieth made 31% of his putts from that distance.

The shortest putt that Spieth missed Thursday was 17 feet, 5 inches. He had 22 putts, and also chipped-in for birdie on the 13th hole.

The question, of course, is how long he can maintain the pace with his putter. If he can do it for three more rounds, he could pick up his first PGA TOUR win since the 2017 Open Championship.