PGA Tour Stats
August 07, 2018

PGA Championship 2018: Can this stat predict success at Bellerive?

When it comes to winning the PGA Championship, like most tournaments, putting is key. A look at the PGA Tour stats, however, reveal a neat correlation between a player’s ability to hole putts outside the 10-foot mark and hoisting the hefty Wanamaker Trophy. Though the data is only available for the past four PGAs, three of the four winners ranked in the top eight in putting from outside 10 feet, including last year’s PGA champ, Justin Thomas, who ranked first. With that in mind, we take a look at the five players in the field at Bellerive Country Club who rank the highest in converting putts outside 10 feet, along with the putters they use.

FedEx St. Jude Classic - Round One

FedEx St. Jude Classic - Round One

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 07: Phil Mickelson hits a putt on the 12th hole to save par during the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind on June 7, 2018 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Photo by: Stan Badz

Stan Badz

Player: Phil Mickelson. Putting from outside 10 feet: 19.08 percent. Putter: Odyssey Versa #9 White

Mickelson, who won the PGA Championship 13 years ago at Baltusrol, uses an Odyssey Versa #9 White—a half-mallet putter that features contrasting white/black/white striping. Mickelson first put the putter in play at the start of the 2013 season and has used it on and off ever since. It has served him well this year, as this stat can attest to.

John Deere Classic - Round Three

John Deere Classic - Round Three

SILVIS, IL - JULY 14: Whee Kim lines up a putt on the 14th hole during the third round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on July 14, 2018 in Silvis, Illinois. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Photo by: Streeter Lecka

Streeter Lecka

Player: Whee Kim. Putting from outside 10 feet: 19.08 percent. Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 Timeless

A number of players on the PGA Tour use prototype Cameron putters, and Kim’s flat stick is decidedly his own. Kim’s prototype features a black carbon-steel head with 4 degrees loft and his name stamped on the two rear bumpers. There are two white lines in a crossed pattern on the rear cavity flange and a single sightline on top of the head for alignment purposes. There also are no classic Cameron weights on the sole.

147th Open Championship - Previews

147th Open Championship - Previews

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 16: Kevin Na of the United States gestures during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 16, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Photo by: Matthew Lewis/R&A

Matthew Lewis/R&A

Player: Kevin Na. Putting from outside 10 feet: 18.47 percent. Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura T5 MB

The 34-year-old Na notched his second PGA Tour win—and first in seven years—at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. In that event, Na was second in strokes gained/putting and third in putting from outside 10 feet, making 11 of 40 for 27.5 percent. Such a performance would serve him well at Bellerive, where he will wield his 34-inch Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura T5 MB, a “muscleback,” rounded mid-mallet with a solid stainless-steel flange.

Fort Worth Invitational - Round Three

Fort Worth Invitational - Round Three

FORT WORTH, TX - MAY 26: Emiliano Grillo of Argentina looks over a putt on the fifth green during round three of the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club on May 26, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Photo by: Tom Pennington

Tom Pennington

Player: Emiliano Grillo. Putting from outside 10 feet: 18.37 percent. Putter: Odyssey Toulon San Diego

When Callaway/Odyssey brought the Toulon putter brand into the fold, it was with the idea of having the high-end putter maker focus on that end of the business while the Odyssey brand carried the tonnage. It also likely had an eye on the tour, where the Toulon brand has made some converts, including Grillo, who uses the San Diego, a blade-style putter that features Toulon’s hallmark deep mill, cross-hatch grooves to control sound and vibration; along with a small groove inside each small diamond-shaped pattern to promote forward roll. The putters also come with an adjustable sole plate of varying weights. Grillo opted for the 20-gram sole plate.

147th Open Championship - Round One

147th Open Championship - Round One

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Jimmy Walker of the United States putts on the 12th green during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Photo by: Harry How

Harry How

Player: Jimmy Walker. Putting from outside 10 feet: 18.37 percent. Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 GSS Timeless

After a dalliance with TaylorMade’s Spider Tour mallet earlier this year, Jimmy Walker returned to a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 prototype blade putter. However, it is not the 14-year-old Cameron that Walker refurbished and won the 2016 PGA with. Instead, this putter is 36 inches long with four wraps of tape under the Studio grip. Still, it’s a familiar look and perhaps the good vibes Walker had in 2016 will resurface at Bellerive.

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