‘What we saw today we have never seen’: Cam Smith may have set putting record

Cameron Smith lines up a putt on Friday on the 17th hole at St. Andrews.

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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. 

And on and on. A lot of fun can be had with the length of putts Smith dropped over his Open Championship second round on Friday at St. Andrews. You can add this one, too. 

He may have set a record.

Flagstick blows in wind at 2022 Open Championship.
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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.

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The British Open leader doesn’t use practice strokes. He does this instead.
By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

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.  

Holes 1-9
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

Holes 10-18
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 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.