By Alex Myers
Imagine playing a round of golf and having a birdie putt on almost every hole. Nice, right? Imagine doing that for four days in a row at a tournament. Really nice, right? Now imagine finishing T-29 at that tournament. Doesn't seem possible, right?
Well, Graham DeLaet pulled off the trick at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The Canadian led the field by far in greens in regulation (87.5 percent), yet barely managed a top-30 finish.
Not surprisingly, poor putting was to blame. For the week, DeLaet ranked 73rd in strokes gained/putting at -1.645. Believe it or not, that was a good week on the greens for DeLaet, who ranks T-155 in that category for the season, losing nearly three strokes per round to the field on the greens.
As a testament to how good DeLaet's ball-striking has been this season (he leads the PGA Tour in greens in regulation), only Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Harris English have more top 10s in 2013-14. Imagine if this guy was even a decent putter?
But DeLaet isn't alone when it comes to squandering great play from tee to green. Since the start of 2014, only two players have hit a higher percentage of GIR in a tournament and both had even worse results than DeLaet in New Orleans.
Chad Campbell hit 90.28 percent at the Humana Challenge and finished T-69, and Boo Weekley hit 88.89 percent at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and finished 26th in the 30-man field. For the season, Campbell is second to DeLaet in GIR and Weekley is eighth.
Coincidentally, Weekley finished tied with DeLaet in New Orleans despite being 12th in GIR and leading the field in driving accuracy.