I realize it's early days yet to be relying upon the stats, but Phil Mickleson's much-touted improved putting is really nowhere to be seen.
Early 2010 putting stats:
Putts per GIR: 1.818 143rd
Putts per round: 29.58 105th
Total putting: 81st
Avg distance putts made: 171st
3-putt avoidance: 63rd
Results in first 3 events of 2010:
Farmers Ins.: 19th with 1.780 putts per GIR; per round:
33 / 1.929, 27 / 1.615, 25 / 1.600, 32 / 1.923 putts (29.3 / 1.780)
Northern Trust: T45th with 1.844 putts per GIR; per round:
32 / 2.000, 26 / 1.500, 31 / 1.917, 31 / 2.000 putts (30.0 / 1.844)
Pebble Beach: T8th with 1.830 putts per GIR; per round:
33 / 1.938, 30 / 1.733, 25 / 1.889, 30 / 1.769 (29.5 / 1.830)
Of the 12 rounds so far, Phil has 4 good putting rounds, 1 fair round, and 7 pretty stink-o rounds averaging over 1.900 putts per GIR.
At Torrey Pines (Farmers Ins.), Phil's childhood and junior home course, he wasted two rounds with 33 and 32 putts and lost by 5 strokes. At Pacific Palisades (Northern Trust), he finished 14 shots out despite T26 in GIRs. At Pebble Beach he finished only 5 shots back with three bad putting days.
Not a good sign of great things to come!
In 2009 Phil won 3 times, but only when his putting was "on song" (Northern Trust 1.667, WGC-CA 1.587, and Tour Championship 1.617). He was also T2 in the US Open (1.660). But other than this, he had only two other good-putting events (under 1.750), and had 7 "bad putting" (over 1.800) events, the worst being the PGA (1.913). Altogether, not a fabulous year putting, but not terrible either. he ended the year 35th in putts per GIR (1.753), 69th in putts per round (28.92), and 134th in total putting.
In contrast, his start in 2010 appears significantly under-par for him. Last year at PB, Phil had 1.703 putts per GIR and won the Northern Trust with 1.667.
Perhaps 2010 will be a good year for Phil with the flatstick, but thus far the stats aren't glowing.
Putting Coach and Theorist
Optimal Putting: Brain Science, the Instincts, and the Four Skills of Putting (2008, 282-pages in full-cover) -- "The best putting instruction book in golf history." -- Bob Toski -- available as an ebook download.
Golf's most advanced and comprehensive putting instruction -- you're either in the PuttingZone, or not.
Over 3.1 million visits -- 200,000 monthly from 50+ countries -- and growing strong.