Can Jordan Spieth’s insanely hot putting streak last?

May 24, 2019

Jordan Spieth looks like he might be back to his old self. After a nearly yearlong streak where he recorded no Top 10s, Spieth finished T-3 at the PGA Championship and jumped into 2nd place after one round at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

And it’s his putter that deserves the credit.

We tend to read more than we should into players’ so-called “slumps.” In a skill as volatile as putting, where the results are predicated on such fine margins, slumps are as natural as a random gust of wind as your ball is in mid-air. It happens.

Jordan Spieth spent most of last year in a putting slump, as I wrote about at the time, caused by a combination of missing short putts and not making as many longer or medium length putts as in years past. His poor form on the greens went on for quite a while, which dragged his career SG: Putting average into negative figures.

But this season — and especially in recent weeks — his performance has been surging. The graph below shows Spieth’s SG: Putting since the start of last season. As you can see, his numbers turned positive at the start of this season and then have been trending notably up, culminating in his astonishing putting performance at the PGA Championship, where he gained 10.6 strokes putting on the field.

Running too hot?

The obvious question now is whether he can sustain it.

Will Spieth continue gaining 10.6 and 5.4 (as he did on Thursday) strokes putting moving forward?

No, of course not.

Jordan Spieth’s putting is running incredibly hot at the moment, and, as the highs and lows on those graphs will tell you, it’s hard to see anybody sustaining this level of sheer brilliance. But, just like slumps, hot streaks are part of the process, and shouldn’t be regarded with any derision.

The important takeaways from Spieth’s recent putting form is that it’s trending in the right direction, and that his overall performance on the greens has returned to the same levels that he’s sustained for long periods in the past.

Spieth won’t run this hot every week, but his putting is in a good place, so expect more good performances along the way.