‘What we saw today we have never seen’: Cam Smith may have set putting record
Cameron Smith nearly went the length of a football field with his putts. His putts would have almost taken him from home plate to third.
He may have set a record.
Over Smith’s round of eight-under 64, he rolled in over 250 feet of putts, which may be the highest number since the PGA Tour started keeping track of the stat, in 2004. Why may be? The Tour doesn’t track Open Championships — the figure was measured by the Open — though, of course, it’s impressive nonetheless.
According to the Open’s online scoreboard, Smith rolled in 255 feet of putts, which is about 15 feet more than Brent Geiberger’s record number from 2006, when he made 240 feet, 4 inches of putts. (To note, the Tour and Golf Channel are reporting Smith’s number to be 253 feet.)
“They’ve been keeping statistics on the PGA Tour since 2004. Doing some math, that’s roughly 300,000 rounds that they’ve compiled, and what we saw today we have never seen in the statistical history of the PGA Tour,” analyst Brandel Chamblee said Friday on Golf Channel’s Live from the Open show.
Notably, Smith did set one official mark on Friday, as his 13-under total through 36 holes is the lowest in an Open at St. Andrews. And last year, he tied a Tour mark when he took just 18 putts (!) during his second round at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
It’s here where you’re maybe wondering his secret, and GOLF’s Luke Kerr-Dineen took a nice look into that here. In a sentence, Smith does not take a practice putt ahead of his actual stroke, preferring instead to look at the hole.
“Just basically looking at the hole and trying to see the ball just dropping in the front there,” Smith said Friday. “That’s always been the last thought of mine, is take a long, hard look at the hole and really feel the putt. I don’t take a practice stroke. I just get up there and really feel it.”
Should you want to see Smith’s putting stroke yourself, his third round begins at 10:55 a.m. on Saturday. Below is a look at the distances of all of his made putts on Friday, according to the Open’s online leaderboard.
375-yard, par-4 1st: 47 feet (birdie)
452-yard, par-4 2nd: 17 feet (birdie)
398-yard, par-4 3rd: 12 feet (birdie)
480-yard, par-4 4th: 2 feet (par)
570-yard, par-5 5th: 21 feet (par)
414-yard, par-4 6th: 3 feet (par)
371-yard, par-4 7th: 6 feet (birdie)
187-yard, par-3 8th: 29 feet (birdie)
352-yard, par-4 9th: 5 feet (par)
Total: 142 feet
386-yard, par-4 10th: 7 feet (birdie)
174-yard, par-3 11th: 5 feet (par)
351-yard, par-4 12th: 8 feet (par)
465-yard, par-4 13th: 2 feet (par)
614-yard, par-5 14th: 64 feet (eagle)
455-yard, par-4 15th: 2 feet (par)
418-yard, par-4 16th: 11 feet (par)
495-yard, par-4 17th: 10 feet (par)
356-yard, par-4 18th: 4 feet (par)
Total: 113 feet
18-hole total: 255 feet