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Spieth's Ballstriking Carries Him To AT&T Title, Carson Daly Wins Pro-Am

Kevin Casey of has the notes wrap up of Jordan Spieth's 2017 AT&T National Pro-Am win.

Most striking Sunday was how Spieth's ballstriking seemed to carry him down the stretch as his putter cooled off. For someone often wrongly accused as being merely a great putter, the ballstriking display had to make his critics take notice. Ryan Lavner with a wrap of Spieth's ninth PGA Tour win, including this:

In 2015, Spieth ranked in the top 15 in strokes-gained driving, approaches, short game and putting. It was clinical. But Spieth’s ball-striking tailed off last season, and he said he worked as hard as he ever has during the offseason with swing coach Cameron McCormick.

“He’s always hungry,” Greller said. “He’s not somebody who is ever going to coast. It’s fun to work for a guy like that. Always hungry. Always driven.”

The hard work has paid off. Though he has bemoaned a cold putter – the middle two rounds boosted his confidence, pouring in putts on spongy, bumpy greens – Spieth has been one of the best iron players on Tour and ranks inside the top 10 in strokes gained overall.

“People think it’s only his putter,” Greller said, “but he’s incredibly well-rounded when you really break down the stats.”

In Pro-Am news, 10-handicapper Carson Daly (10!) teamed with Ken Duke to shoot 63 sunday and finish at -33 net to win. James Raia reports for the Monterey County Herald.

And flashing back to Saturday, Bill Murray avoided letting Phil Blackmar talked to him, and appeared to have a beef with the cameraman.

The final round highlights from PGA Tour Productions:


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Reader Comments (47)

LOL Greller. Yep 13 one putts on Saturday. It's not just his putter
02.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKCW
It's not. He is a wonderful putter but he is much more than that.
02.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Another Spieth win on a course set-up that is wide open and minimal rough. The D&D last year was the same, Augusta, Kapalua,, Hero.

Follow the amateurs, Jordan, follow the amateurs. There's gold in them thar hills.
02.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut
Off topic but how on earth is Scott McCarron's putting stroke legal? It looks completely anchored.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob S
And also slightly off-topic - with lift, clean and place in play, I fell asleep watching Jon Rahm hit one shot from the fairway on Saturday. Dreadfully slow.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut
@chico you're right...he is so much more. He's a wizard with a wedge!! But with anything longer in his hand and he belongs on a mini tour somewhere. He's known as The Scaffler!! Ben Hogan is turning over in his grave knowing he has won a US Open.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKCW
CBS broadcast was utterly lifeless. Nantz sounds like the host of Delicious Dish. So little golf shots and graphics. I would have preferred Fox, frankly.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSoro B
@KCW: Funny you should mention Hogan, because I just thought to myself that prior to yesterday he was probably the last player to take 35 putts on Sunday and still win by four.

It's just un-effing-real how some people just have to put negative spin on everything, while forgetting that the very idea of this game is to put the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Hmmm, Carson Daly, former AJGA player in the Woods days, is a 10 handicap. Wonder if he will get the same scrutiny as the Japanese fellow a few years back.....
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
KCW, you are showing your ingnorance in regards to any type of golf knowledge.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLema's Ghost
South only made one putt all day, on the new 17th. The last groups left everything short because the balls were hopping everywhere due to the POA annual.

17 hole was rebuilt 2 years ago and has compatibly less poa annua than the others.

Plus Daly is a massive sandbagger.
Apologies as I was unable to watch any of the broadcast -

Is it the par-5 14th that they've had some US Open drama due to some "questionable" hole locations. I may have recalled them trying to do some work on that - can anybody give me an update on that and if so, how things went there this weekend?
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterStreaky Putter
Pfft. You'd have to be blind not to realize this argument wasn't coming after a win. The young man knows how to get the best score possible out of a round. He's been hanging around close to the lead all year but has been derailed by the big number or the eventual winner playing lights out. In the realm of reality there's not a glaring separation between Jordan and those ahead of him in the OWGR. Players are well-rounded or they wouldn't find themselves in that position. If forced to name an attribute it would be his putter. Greller is just blowing sunshine up a bunch of skirts. When he putts like he did in the 3rd round, he's unbeatable if not demoralizing to his opponents. In particular those paired with him that have to watch it.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Nance comes across as an undertaker. I turn the sound off when McCord is broadcasting. They need to un-invite Bill Murray.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBill
I found it interesting that DJ got beat by his pro pairing partner each day and ended up 3rd. I also think whenever a player like Spieth gets it going with the putter everyone focuses on that. But just like Tiger- he tends to score better than he hits it more rounds than not. If he does it for another decade he'll be on the list of some of the best ever. The idea that he only putts well is a myth. The fairway shot into the 2nd green yesterday probably landed within a foot of where he was trying to hit it. Because he putts so well from 15-25 feet he can still go low without chasing too many pins. That is an enormous advantage- especially in majors.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
KCW "But with anything longer in his hand and he belongs on a mini tour somewhere. " One of the dumbest statements yet.

Obviously you agree that he would dominate whatever "mini tour somewhere" he would qualify to play??? Just so you are aware, Mr. Spieth has won 9 times thus far at the ripe old age of 23, 7 months or so. Also be reminded that the field is playing the exact same course he is..........

Hawkeye +1 ".....he very idea of this game is to put the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible." Bingo!
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPro From Dover
I am hopeful he continues to play golf and avoids playing golf swing. Dance with the one that brung ya, I'd say...I didn't watch closely yesterday, but it didn't seem like he was taking as long to pull the that accurate or was I just not paying enough attention?
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
How can these amateurs get by with such specious handicaps. Carson Daley a 10? Give me a break. How many strokes did he help his pro partner with? 25? Come on, it's a joke. And it's a joke every year.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSari
@KCW the hard statistics seem to suggest you have no idea what you are talking about.

SG: OFF-THE-TEE_______________0.354_____53
SG: APPROACH-THE-GREEN______1.66_______4
SG: AROUND-THE-GREEN________-0.351____172
SG: PUTTING___________________0.554_____38
SG: TEE-TO-GREEN _____________1.664_____10
SG: TOTAL____________________2.217______9

DRIVING DISTANCE____________________296.1_______71
PROXIMITY TO HOLE____________________30' 11"______14
SG: PUTTING__________________________0.554______38
TOTAL PUTTING________________________214.6______94
PUTTING AVERAGE_____________________1.672______9
OVERALL PUTTING AVERAGE_____________1.632______137
ONE-PUTT PERCENTAGE ________________38.19%______110

In a nutshell those stats say Jordan is:

--the best iron player on tour
--a pretty good driver of the golf ball
--a poor chipper around the green, loses significant ground to field there
--slightly better than average with the putter
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLatvala
Calling out Spieth is stupid. The guy is among the very best of all time at this age. How it will all end up as to his career, only time will tell.

He is intelligent, well spoken, and media friendly. He is quietly going about replacing the 14 time major winner as the focus of the press, and while the other guy was an enigma by choice, this champion understands the need to actually speak ad be honest in doing so.

As to his putting v ''the rest of the game'', wouldn't we all like to be able to know that we can rescue any hole, any trouble getting to the green, with a great putting ability. there are 2 games being played, 1) all the shots except 2) putting. If you can go lights out on #2, it takes a hell of a lot of pressure off #1. JS seems to have it down.

The guy may end up breaking all the records, something he can only do if he wants to and stays healthy. From there it will take years, and I for one, would not bet against him.

As to the ''no rough'' post, so what? Every one else he beat was playing the same tracks. TW's wins are bunched up at less than a half dozen venues, and then a few scattered wins. I don't know JN's % of wins at only a few courses. 1/3 of his majors are at ANGC. Almost half of PM's win are in CA and AZ.

It's not a big deal that a golfer favors certain areas or types of courses.

Jordan may have his biggest year yet in 2017. It will be fun to watch.

02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

I don't know how many are sandbagging, but if the handicap is real, then it is no big deal.

First of all a middle of the road handicap, like a 10-16 has a better chance of winning than a low handicap player because the have so many holes the get a stroke on. Secondly, the way GHIN works, yu only shoot your handicap about 20% of your rounds, about 1 in 5 times.

Also a 10 hdcp could easily have 3 or 4 rounds close to par if he or she has a tendency to have good days and bad one, and has a lot of blow up holes, which GUIN would limit to a double bogey at worst, because it is the 10 BEST of your last 20 rounds that determines you handicap- so you could have those low round and of the remaining 16 recent rounds, assuming you have 4 that are really close to par- your remaining best 10 (6 rounds) could be in the 90's and you end up with a 10 average.- a 10 handicap.

You couple this with the slope of the course, and it effects that 10 up or down.

I hope this all makes sense.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Hey, the kid gave me a reason to tune into arguably the stupidest event of the season, and I did. That says something. Not even Tiger or Phil could sway that much influence upon me over the years.

I like the kid. Seems genuine, seems down-to-earth. Seems to get it.

Hard to not be a fan of this guy.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Compare the Mona Lisa with Femme au Cafe. Both great art. One is the mysterious, making me wonder what she is thinking that showed in that hint of the smile. The other is almost brooding, calculating, harsh. At least in my ere. Both take different routes, making us think differently, yet both great art

Same with Spieth v Hogan. One owns the swing we admire, the other the putting we are envious of. Both put a better number on the card than their competitors, no matter how they did it.

I can appreciate and admire daVinci and Picasso, just like I can Hogan and Spieth.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLateral Hazard
Don't know what was worse...Murray's tired jackassery or his buddy McCords painting it as comedy brilliance.
The whole thing was a lackluster affair although I will give them points for dumping the past idiocy on 17 with the couch.
Riviera never looked so good.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
> He's a wizard with a wedge!! But with anything longer in his hand and he belongs on a mini tour somewhere.

For 2017, Spieth's strokes gained approaches is 4th and tee to green is 10th. He is also #1 in greens in regulation. When he is playing well, he does everything but drive the ball better than almost anyone else. He may not have the smoothness in his iron shots of some of the other top guys, but the stats say he's one of the best.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjly
@jjshaka +1 regarding Murray. His act is old and tired. The whole Phil Blackmar incident was utterly ridiculous. They need to show the celebs that can actually play. Larry the Cable Guy pulling someone out onto the green on 6 and making him putt belongs up at Tahoe in July, not at Pebble in February.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon
Aren't all great players great putters? Even Hogan in his day was a fantastic putter. And Woods? He seemingly holed every putt he looked at the first 14 years of his career and no one ever seemed to have a problem with it.

Spieth is a world class player right through the bag. The 3-wood into #2 yesterday from 261 yards and the hybrid into #8 were spectacular.

Jordan is an easy guy to root for. Unlike most he "gets it."
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSun Mountain Man
If he didn't go to the towel before every shot then he'd be "easy to route for." Much more fun watching Sneds.

Agree re the Bill Murray shenanigans. I think he was legitimately pissed during the Blackmar interview and the nitwits in the media are trying to say it was "comedy."

Y'all should check Dan Patrick's podcast out. He was at Pebble for two days and did some great interviews with Nantz and Spieth.
mURREY IS A NOTORIOUS HOTHEAD. hE WAS PISSED oops I did it again-- He is mean to a lot of spectators and they think he is being funny, but he is genuinely being mean.

I think he is a better than good actor, an a ok comic, but the whole b list of has been comics and the CEO's taking more than 1/3 of the AM spots SUCKS BIG TIME.

If the non golfing voters would see all these effing CEO's spending thousands of dollars, probably of company money, on a spot in the event, they would be dropping these stocks like hot potatoes. The money to the top is less to the stockholder.

As to the event, the paying spectator is getting shafted. There are about 10 AM's worth seeing, and a few more than that worth heckling.

02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
The cameras give Murray several minutes of face time as he arrives at the first tee on looks like he is the first of his group to post and he laps it up by making the tee his stage and goes right into his worn out old schtick while wearing his dumbass outfit....'am I the only one playing today'...ha ha ha etc.....awkwardly autographs the top of an elderly disabled mans bald head with a Sharpie....and then finally he cold tops his tee ball about 40 yards.... can't imagine following this nonsense for 4 hours....I hope he gives the foundation a lot of cash for putting up with his bs for 4 days.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
It's easy to understand why players get frustrated with blogs/Twitter/media when their wins are quickly trivialized (as several posters here did) and they stop giving thoughtful answers and stop becoming 'media friendly.' When did Colonial CC become 'wide open?' They must have cut down some trees.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTravis
Digs, thanks. I do know how the handicap system works, and as a 9.3 myself, know well how a few blow-up holes can affect one's handicap. My point was that the scores one sees sometimes are so out of whack with the handicap that even accounting for a great round, it seems weird. I could see a 10 if he or she is really on shooting a 76-77 on any given day, or a net 66. For four day in a row?

Reminds of the one time I played in a member-guest and one dude with a 22 index shot a net 57. He was booed when he went up to claim his prize.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSari I'm " an undertaker ". Far from it; an artist with a sense of humor.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
"Reminds of the one time I played in a member-guest and one dude with a 22 index shot a net 57. He was booed when he went up to claim his prize. "

Sari, that reminded me of a mixed evnt I was playing in. We were between 7 and 13 handicaps ( 4 ball team , 2 from 4 count) and we played well. We were beaten by 21 shots net by the winners. In the carpark later on they were high fiving like they robbed a bank and got away with it. They didn't get booed but reading your piece, I wish they had.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold

I tried to describe...let's say the 10 handicap shoots 3 over par 75 on his 4 best rounds. This is a total of 12 over par. On his remaining 6 in the 10 best he needs to get to 88 over par for all 10 to average 10 over. 88 over par in 6 rounds is 14.67 it 87 as an average for his 5th - 10th best scores...the remaining 10 of last 20 need to be worse than this group.

This is not humanly possible for someone to honestly attain these numbers.

02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJS
Somebody please explain the handicap system to Digger.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLema's Ghost
@Easingwold what you expect when you finish 19th in a 20 team field? Next time don't forget to reveal that the 2nd place team was only 2 shots back.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPendleton
@ Lema

I know it well. I didn't do the math. I was just giving a general low/high without working it out as JS did.


Thanks. As I said to Lema, I didn't do the math. I have found that the ''anti-handicap'', that is, the high 10 of the 20- says a lot about one's game. while I averaged between an 8 and a 9.5, my ''anti'' was about 4 strokes higher. A better player would have the high 10 within a stroke or 2 of the low 10 I got down to a 5 point something before health issues stopped me from playing,and I'm still only playing every now and then for fun; anyway, what you say, Sari says, and Lema smarted off about, indicates that the ''10'' for him does seem unlikely, unless it was very old and he has not turned in scores since he got his game better.


Didn't mean to insult you. Lema can handle all the insults.


BTW- Lema- ''digger'' is my nickname since I was a teenager. Freaked me out when you called me that. It refers to my drag racing background and working on top fuel cars...dragsters which have the nickname diggers. the digsouth is because in golf I am a digger, not a picker, and south is a reference to living in South Texas and being left handed, a southpaw. However I am a picker as well, only with a guitar
I know who Lema was- cool handle.....
02.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I'm surprised at how people on this board are treating Carson's handicap...the problem, if there is one, is that handicaps are based on stroke play, but are applied to match scoring.

So if he's a 10, he might be the kind of player that makes a dozen pars and doubles everything else. In that case, if he's making pars on the holes he strokes on, he'll add 10 shots to his team despite shooting a 12 over 84!

I know, because that's how I play. I'll have a 5-6 pars, maybe even a birdie...but I'll have multiple triples and doubles, maybe even a snowman or two. It's great for team format, awful if I'm playing solo! When our team plays, and we're all between 18-25, we can clean up in certain formats, in others we don't have a prayer.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterManku
"Q: How often should I play to -- or beat -- my handicap?
Knuth: If it's accurate, you should average about three shots above your handicap. For example, a player with a course handicap of 16 on a course with a rating of 71.1 should score on average about 90. The USGA handicap system is based on 96 percent of the best 10 of a golfer's last 20 rounds, not simply average score.

Scores normally fit into the classic bell-shaped curve. More than half of your scores should be within three strokes of three over your handicap. In other words, taking our 16-handicapper, more than half of the rounds should be between 87 and 93. The player will better the handicap -- shooting 87 or lower -- only about 20 percent of the time, or once every five rounds. Golfers should only beat their handicap by three strokes one out of every 20 rounds.

Q: What are the odds of that 16-handicapper breaking 80?
Knuth: The odds of someone beating their handicap -- if it's an honest handicap -- by eight strokes are 1,138 to 1. For most players that represents about 54 years of golf -- a lifetime for many. The odds of beating your number by eight strokes twice are 14,912 to 1, or 710 years of golf"

Not even close.
02.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarter

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