Jordan Spieth didn't win for a second consecutive season, a drought no one could have predicted when he picked up his 11th PGA Tour title and third major days before his 24th birthday in 2017. But while Spieth's ball-striking has held him back since that victory at Royal Birkdale, at least the young star can point to his putting being better than ever.
Spieth didn't qualify for this week's Tour Championship, which means his 2018-2019 stats are final. And the clear bright spot comes on the greens where he posted a career-best (Yep, even better than his historic 2015 campaign in which he won two majors) in strokes gained/putting.
For the season, Spieth gained .862 strokes on the field per round, meaning he averaged making up more than three shots per tournament just with his flatstick. Spieth will finish second to Denny McCarthy's eye-popping .926, which is the second-best figure in the past 10 seasons—trailing only Jason Day's record-best 1.130 in 2015-2016.
In fact, Spieth's average would have led the tour in three of the past four seasons. More importantly, it was a huge improvement from the prior two seasons. After finishing ninth and second in the category in 2015 (.571) and 2016 (.758), respectively, Spieth fell to 48th (.278) and 123rd (-.034) the past two seasons.
Unfortunately for Spieth, his improved putting coincided with career worsts in strokes gained/off-the-tee (180th at -.452) and strokes gained/approach (147th at -.198)—not to mention his bizarre weekend struggles. Spieth managed four top 10s in 23 starts, including a T-3 at the PGA Championship, but didn't advance to East Lake after being 44th in the FedEx Cup standings following last week's T-37 at the BMW Championship.
Speaking of standings, Spieth finished a shockingly low No. 27 on the list of U.S. Presidents Cup hopefuls. But while captain Tiger Woods has some difficult decisions for his four captain's picks—including whether to select himself—if he's looking for someone who can make putts at Royal Melbourne (not to mention someone with plenty of Team USA experience), Spieth certainly deserves consideration.
Originally Appeared on Golf Digest