After the first round of the Fed Ex Cup Deutsche Bank tournament the leader was South Korea’s Noh Seung-Yul with a 62.
Seven shots back was Adam Scott who shot 69. The difference was Noh had 26 putts and Adam 34 putts and it didn’t get much better for Adam over the next two rounds.
After three rounds Adam was twelve shots back of leader Louis Oosthuizen but led the field in ball striking, 3rd in field for driving distance and greens in regulation and 5th in driving accuracy and proximity to hole. At the other end he was last in total putts and 61st out of 78 in strokes gained-putting.
Even for an experienced tour pro like Adam it would be easy to get despondent and let the putting stats ruin his week. So how did Adam go about handling the situation?
After the first round he went on record saying that he was not able to block off negative thoughts on the green. He followed that statement by saying that there is nothing wrong technically with his stroke but was not matching the speed to the lines he picked for his putts.
He finished his interview with “I have to let the missed putts go and not let it sit in my memory”. This is a champion golfers ATTITUDE that you can learn from so that after a bad round you can ensure you don’t erode your confidence by negative self talk linking to a bad attitude.
At the end of the third round at the post round interview and asked about his bad putting (reporters love highlighting weaknesses), Adam responded with “The putts will start to drop tomorrow if I maintain the feel I got going today.
I need to eek out a top ten which would be a good week’s work when you’re not in contention”. Well chosen words and it set him up for a good finish.
Adam shot 66 in the last round and finished tied 7th. Mission accomplished! The right attitude was his 15th club in the bag last week and now has created the necessary momentum leading into the last two tournaments of the FedEx Cup.
With the Ryder Cup around the corner USA Captain Davis Love has selected not only a team of in-form golfers but also the best putting team in the last decade to represent Team USA.
As a team they collectively average 4.021 strokes in the PGA Tour Strokes Gained-Putting stat. Compared to previous Ryder Cup teams as shown below.
2010 ----- 2.728
So if the USA team putt to their potential they will be very hard to beat on home ground. Medinah Country Club will host the Ryder Cup in 2012, its first time in the state of Illinois, and the first U.S. venue outside the eastern time zone since 1971. The competition is scheduled for September 28-30 on Course 3.
As with Rory Mcllroy’s win last week when you putt well it sets you up to be in contention to win tournaments. Rory was No.1 in putts per round (average 25.8), putts per green in regulation (1.521) and No.2 in Strokes Gained-Putting (1.670). These stats combined with No.5 ranked in ball striking adds up to him making 25 birdies for the week.
On the subject of putting Phil Mickelson has gone to the claw/saw putting grip last week at the Deutsche Bank tournament and he ranked 6th in strokes gained-putting for a 4th place finish.
Next week in the Low score newsletter I will show you how you can train to putt like a tour pro.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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