spieth_deere

Strokes Gained at the John Deere: Spieth’s putting is key to his win

Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic in a playoff and became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to capture four PGA TOUR titles in a season before the British Open.

Spieth beat the field by an average of 3.6 strokes per round in his victory. Putting contributed 43 percent of his gain (1.6 strokes per round, rank 7) and approach shots contributed another 31 percent (1.1 strokes per round, rank 11). Spieth was ranked 29 in strokes gained driving for the tournament. To prepare for St. Andrews Spieth said, “I need to fine tune my driver.”

Speith turned his final round around in the last six holes. He played the first twelve holes in one over par, while the field beat par by an average of 1.3 strokes, so Spieth lost 2.3 strokes to the field in that span. “I didn’t have my best stuff for those first 12 holes or so,” Spieth said. On holes 13 through 18, Spieth gained 3.0 strokes on the field, playing the holes in four under par compared to the field average of one under. He gained 2.7 strokes with his short game and putting and 0.3 strokes with his long game in the final six holes. Spieth’s comments reflected those strokes gained numbers when he said, “Certainly turned it around there with some good short game and good putts down the stretch.” Here’s a round-by-round strokes gained breakdown of Spieth’s play at the John Deere:

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses) Rank
Jordan Spieth Total Drive Appr Short Putt out of
2015 Season 2.6 (1) 0.6 (12) 0.8 (7) 0.6 (6) 0.6 (7) 210
John Deere Classic 3.6 (1) 0.3 (29) 1.1 (11) 0.6 (10) 1.6 (7) 73
Round 1 -1.5 (101) 0.7 (38) -0.3 (97) -0.3 (94) -1.5 (125) 155
Round 2 5.9 (3) -0.3 (105) 2.8 (4) 0.0 (82) 3.5 (4) 154
Round 3 9.4 (1) 0.7 (19) 3.9 (1) 1.0 (15) 3.8 (1) 73
Round 4 0.8 (28) 0.2 (33) -1.8 (63) 1.8 (2) 0.5 (29) 73

Speith’s victory was made possible by his play in the third round, where he shot 61 compared to the field average of 70.36, a gain of 9.36 strokes on the field. This was the fifth best score against the field in the 2015 PGA TOUR season. Spieth also holds down fourth place on the list with his first-round 64 at the Masters. Here are the top ten strokes gained rounds in the 2015 PGA TOUR season:

    Strokes   Field      
Rank Golfer gained Score average Round Finish Tournament
1 J.B. Holmes 11.36 62 73.36 1 2 WGC-Cadillac Championship
2 Rory McIlroy 10.16 61 71.16 3 1 Wells Fargo Championship
3 Charley Hoffman 9.70 67 76.70 1 T11 Valero Texas Open
4 Jordan Spieth 9.42 64 73.42 1 1 Masters Tournament
5 Jordan Spieth 9.36 61 70.36 3 1 John Deere Classic
6 Ryan Palmer 8.70 61 69.70 2 T10 Humana Challenge
7 Aaron Baddeley 8.70 68 76.70 1 T20 Valero Texas Open
8 Troy Merritt 8.64 61 69.64 2 3 RBC Heritage
9 Steven Bowditch 8.52 62 70.52 1 1 AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
10 Brooks Koepka 8.38 64 72.38 2 T51 The Honda Classic

The veteran Tom Gillis recorded his second second-place finish in his PGA TOUR career, with 61 percent of his total strokes gained coming from approach shots. Here’s a round-by-round strokes gained breakdown of Gillis’s play at the John Deere:

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses) Rank
Tom Gillis Total Drive Appr Short Putt out of
2015 Season 0.1 (109) -0.2 (146) -0.4 (179) 0.4 (13) 0.2 (64) 210
John Deere Classic 3.6 (2) 0.4 (22) 2.2 (2) 0.5 (15) 0.5 (26) 73
Round 1 3.5 (13) 0.0 (82) 1.7 (21) 1.0 (23) 0.8 (46) 155
Round 2 4.9 (4) 0.7 (33) 2.4 (9) 2.0 (5) -0.2 (84) 154
Round 3 1.4 (20) 0.7 (18) 2.2 (9) -0.1 (42) -1.5 (59) 73
Round 4 4.8 (2) 0.3 (29) 2.6 (4) -1.0 (61) 2.9 (8) 73

The top finishers at the John Deere gained 40 percent of the strokes on the field with their approach shots. Here’s a strokes gained breakdown of the top eleven finishers:

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)
Golfer Total Drive Appr Short Putt
Jordan Spieth 3.6 (1) 0.3 (29) 1.1 (11) 0.6 (10) 1.6 (7)
Tom Gillis 3.6 (2) 0.4 (22) 2.2 (2) 0.5 (15) 0.5 (26)
Danny Lee 3.4 (T3) -0.1 (51) 2.5 (1) 0.8 (7) 0.1 (44)
Zach Johnson 3.4 (T3) 0.9 (2) 1.2 (10) 0.2 (34) 1.1 (13)
Johnson Wagner 3.1 (T5) 0.2 (32) 0.4 (31) 0.5 (14) 2.0 (3)
Chris Stroud 3.1 (T5) -0.1 (54) 1.0 (13) 1.4 (1) 0.8 (20)
Justin Thomas 3.1 (T5) 1.0 (1) 1.8 (3) 0.6 (12) -0.3 (56)
Kevin Chappell 2.6 (T8) 0.5 (18) 0.2 (45) 0.0 (45) 2.0 (2)
Daniel Summerhays 2.6 (T8) -0.5 (67) 1.7 (4) -0.3 (59) 1.8 (5)
Steve Wheatcroft 2.6 (T8) 0.4 (23) 0.8 (19) 0.2 (29) 1.2 (10)
Will Wilcox 2.6 (T8) 0.8 (5) 0.5 (29) 1.0 (3) 0.4 (35)
Top 11 average 3.1 0.4 1.2 0.5 1.0
Fraction of total 100% 11% 40% 16% 33%

Here’s a strokes gained breakdown of the final round for the top eleven finishers at the John Deere:

Strokes gained in the final round (ranks in parentheses)
Player Total Drive Appr Short Putt
Jordan Spieth 0.8 (28) 0.2 (33) -1.8 (63) 1.8 (2) 0.5 (29)
Tom Gillis 4.8 (2) 0.3 (29) 2.6 (4) -1.0 (61) 2.9 (8)
Danny Lee 1.8 (23) -0.8 (62) 3.9 (1) 0.6 (22) -2.0 (66)
Zach Johnson 3.8 (6) 0.8 (12) 0.0 (33) -1.8 (69) 4.8 (1)
Johnson Wagner 1.8 (14) 0.3 (25) 0.5 (26) -0.3 (45) 1.2 (15)
Chris Stroud 5.8 (1) 0.1 (37) 1.7 (9) 2.1 (1) 1.8 (11)
Justin Thomas 1.8 (15) 1.3 (2) -0.2 (39) 1.2 (14) -0.6 (42)
Kevin Chappell 1.8 (19) -0.2 (47) -0.2 (42) -1.0 (60) 3.1 (7)
Daniel Summerhays 0.8 (27) 0.3 (26) 0.3 (29) -1.3 (65) 1.4 (12)
Steve Wheatcroft 3.8 (4) -0.8 (63) 0.4 (28) 1.8 (3) 2.3 (9)
Will Wilcox 1.8 (16) 1.4 (1) 1.6 (11) -0.1 (39) -1.2 (54)

This post appeared originally on pgatour.com here


A very brief explanation of strokes gained:
Strokes gained is a measure of the quality of a golf shot. A shot with positive strokes gained indicates a better-than-average shot for a PGA TOUR pro. For example, suppose on a difficult par-4 that the PGA TOUR average score is 4.2. An average drive for a PGA TOUR player would reduce the average strokes to hole out by one, from 4.2 to 3.2. If a player hit a long drive into the fairway where the PGA TOUR average strokes to hole out is 2.9, then the shot gained 0.3 strokes compared to the PGA TOUR average. If a player hit a short drive into the rough where the PGA TOUR average strokes to hole out is 3.4, then the shot lost 0.2 strokes compared to the PGA TOUR average. Strokes gained from all shots are accumulated and grouped into convenient categories to measure the performance of players in a round, tournament, or season. For example, the gain from all tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes is strokes gained driving measure. The gain from all shots starting outside 100 yards from the hole, excluding tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes, is strokes gained from approach shots.

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