In recent years, we have known Brooks Koepka as the MAJOR KILLER. While he certainly has made the clutch putts needed to finish off the big ones, he has clearly done most of the damage with his prodigious, straight drives and accurate approach shots.
In 2018 and 2019 to date, Brooks is ranked 19th and ninth respectively in strokes gained: tee-to-green. At the same time, in strokes gained: putting, he was ranked 68th in 2018, but going into the last event of the season (The Tour Championship) was ranked 128th. Before his putting performance last week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Brooks was ranked 101st in strokes gained: putting—barely better than the Tour average.
Brooks’ putting performance this past week overshadowed his long game by far and was one of the best that I have seen in a Tour Winner—EVER. His strokes gained: tee-to-green was very good: 1.168, ranked sixth, and good enough to bump him from 11th on Tour to ninth for the season. His strokes gained putting was 2.336, ranked first, and good enough to bump him from 101 to 55 for the 2018-19 season.
My point being, if this was more than a hot week but a genuine sign of improvement, LOOK OUT, field! You are all fighting for second!
How good was Brooks’ putting?
He had two three-putts—from 51 and 66 feet. Understandable from long range, these are barely miscues and certainly not what I would consider errors. Further, they would have a very minor negative impact on his strokes gained number. Why? Because the 2.0 range for the PGA Tour is about 34 feet, meaning that a two-putt from that distance would produce a 0.0 strokes gained and a three-putt from that distance would carry a -1.0 strokes gained. Accordingly, Brooks’ long-range three-putts would result in -.70 SG each, or less. (If you need more on strokes gained and the calculations, visit ShotByShot.com and watch my short video on strokes gained Explained under Help & Downloads on our HOME page)
It was Brooks’ outstanding one-putt success that set him apart this week. The chart below compares Brooks to the performance of the FedEx St. Jude FIELD; and for perspective, the second chart includes the average one-putt percentages for the average male golfers (15-19 handicap).
For a complete Strokes Gained analysis of your game and to see exactly how your putting compares, log on to: www.shotbyshot.com