Sam Tremlett looks at the best putters on the PGA Tour for 2017, in terms of putting average.
Who Was The Best Putter On The PGA Tour In 2017?
1) Justin Thomas
Unsurprisingly, the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year, who won five times this year including the USPGA Championship and Dell Technologies Championship, was the Tour’s best putter. He also captured the FedEx Cup to ensure a hefty pay cheque. Thomas was able to do this because of his astounding putting statistics. He led the Tour in putting average with 1.694 putts per green in regulation. His birdie conversion was also one of the highest at 37.39. Basically, any time he hit a green, there was a high chance he made the putt for birdie.
2) Jordan Spieth
Thomas’ good friend Jordan Spieth had a sublime year too and his putting was the main factor why. Who could forget that monster eagle putt he made during the Open Championship. Spieth had a putting average of 1.711 and significantly he ranked fourth in Greens in Regulation (GIR). So Spieth hit a lot of greens and made a lot of putts, a lethal combination.
3) Jason Day
It was not an ideal year for the Australian, failing to win a tournament. But he still had respectable top-10 finishes at the AT&T Byron Nelson, USPGA Championship, Northern Trust Open, and BMW Championship. A putting average of 1.716 is very good indeed but it seems he just didn’t hit enough greens, ranking at 139th. It would not be surprising if he righted that ship by 2018.
T4) Rickie Fowler
Fowler had a pretty solid year winning at the Honda Classic and and Hero World Challenge. He also picked up ten top-10 finishes, two of which came at the US Open and USPGA Championship. His consistency comes about because of his strong putting, averaging 1.721 putts per GIR in 2017. He just needs to put it all together into a Major Championship otherwise he may get left behind by Thomas, Spieth, and Dustin Johnson.
T4) Brooks Koepka
Another American rounds out the top five for putting average in 2017, Brooks Koepka. He picked up his maiden Major title at the US Open at Erin Hills. Despite playing 10 more rounds than Fowler, his average was exactly the same at 1.721 although his GIR rank could be greatly improved. For 2017 he placed 148th in that stat.
6) Anirban Lahiri
Despite failing to win in 2017, Lahiri had some very good results at some big tournaments. He placed tied 3rd at the CIMB Classic, tied 2nd at the Memorial Tournament, and tied 9th at the BMW Championship. His strong putting average, 1.730, can explain a lot of that success.
7) Phil Mickelson
Veteran Phil Mickelson sneaks into the top 10 for average putts in 2017. He made the cut in 20 of the 22 events he played in 2017, and despite having a dismal GIR average, (he ranked 163rd on the Tour), his putting was able to paper over a lot of these cracks. He averaged 1.734 putts per GIR, so when he did hit the green, he made it count.
8) Cameron Smith
Smith picked up his maiden PGA Tour victory in 2017 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he was partnered with Jonas Blixt and they put together a ridiculous score of 27-under-par. That week they had rounds of 67, 62, 68, and finally 64. That is some amazing golf. At 1.737, his putting average was one of the best on Tour, so lets see if he can maintain that going into the 2018 PGA Tour season.
9) Brian Harman
The other lefty on this top 10, Harman had very good 2017. After winning his second PGA Tour title at the Wells Fargo Championship, he would also be in contention to win the US Open until Brooks Koepka came along. Eventually he would finish in second place. The main reason he is able to stay so effective is his putting. In this top 10 he played the most rounds, 104, and yet was still able to keep a putting average of 1.738.
10) Hideki Matsuyama
Rounding out the top 10 is Japanese star Matsuyama. Much like Spieth, Matsuyama hits a lot of greens, ranking in 16th on the PGA Tour, and combined with a putting average of 1.739, it is not hard to see why he is currently the fourth best ranked golfer in the world. And it is also not difficult to see why he won three times on the PGA Tour in 2017, at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
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