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June Blog 2017

by NEVADA BOBS on JUNE 28, 2017

No 58s in this year from the PGA Tours Travelers Championship but the conclusion certainly didnt disappoint......

An epic shot calls for an epic celebration!! 
Another angle of this unreal hole-out. 

FIVE OBSERVATIONS

1. The aftermath of a milestone is the perfect opportunity for reflection, and it may be time to admit weve failed to appreciate the true level of Spieths talent. Every little lull in his game, like the two consecutive cuts he missed in May, lead to questions about his game. But Spieths victory at the Travelers Championship, and the dramatic fashion in which he did it serve as a strong reminder that he is a special talent.
This was the 10th victory of his career. Hes only 23 years old.

Its impressive for a player to earn his PGA TOUR card before turning 24. Spieth already owns two majors and a FedExCup.

The high standard he set in 2015 makes people under-appreciate what hes accomplished since. Hes won two times in each of the past two seasons, and he ranks high in every possible metric: fourth in the FedExCup, third in the Official World Golf Ranking and second on the U.S. Presidents Cup team rankings.

No, hes not immune to bad weeks, but they should be placed in a larger context. Were watching Spieth compile a resume worthy of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Those who have talked about Spieths slumps may just be too impatient. Since October 2014, hes never gone more than 12 PGA TOUR starts without a win. Spieth and Dustin Johnson are the only players to post multiple victories in each of the past two seasons. In 16 starts this season, Spieth has seven top-10s, including five finishes in the top three.

Spieths dramatic hole-out did more than net another PGA TOUR win. It reminded us of what hes capable of.

2. Spieths win continued an impressive run for the 25-and-under set. It used to be that any player in his 20s was considered young, but now we see a growing contingent of players who are racking up victories before they turn 25. There have been 12 wins this season by a player 25 or younger. Eight different players have combined to win those 12 titles. Justin Thomas has three wins this season, while Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama have two wins apiece. The other winners this season who were 25 or younger at the time of their victory are Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith, Si Woo Kim, Daniel Berger and Mackenzie Hughes.

3. Berger may have cost himself a spot on last years Ryder Cup team at last years Travelers Championship, but this year at TPC River Highlands he all but clinched his spot on Team USA. Berger, who lost a three-shot lead in the final round of last years Travelers, made up a three-shot deficit Sunday to catch Spieth before falling in a playoff. The runner-up finish moved Berger to fourth in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings. Berger isnt short on confidence, or distance, and should fit in quite well as a rookie on the young team. Half of the top 10 players in the U.S. point standings would be representing their country for the first time in professional competition. The five potential newcomers are Berger, Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell and Brian Harman.

The win also moved Berger to eighth in the FedExCup as he looks to make his third consecutive TOUR Championship. He finished 11th in the FedExCup en route to winning the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award, and was 26th last year.

4. Rory McIlroys putting woes continue. He finished 17th at the Travelers despite ranking 69th (out of the 74 players who completed 54 holes) in Strokes Gained: Putting Tee-to-green, Im right where I need to be, said McIlroy, who ranks 65th in the FedExCup. Driving the ball as well as I ever have, and hitting my irons pretty good. If I could sharpen up the short game a little bit and just convert a few more chances Im giving myself, I feel like Ill be right there for the next few weeks.
Hunter Mahan, who beat McIlroy in the championship match of the 2012 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, was one of the players who tied McIlroy last week at TPC River Highlands. Mahans game has fallen on hard times. He began the week ranked 215th in the FedExCup and 889th in the Official World Golf Ranking. The T17 was Mahans first top-50 finish since he finished 43rd at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2016. Mahan now ranks 195th in the FedExCup and 723rd in the world ranking.

Before Spieths bunker shot overshadowed all that occurred last week at TPC River Highlands, the play of Monday qualifier Chase Sieffert was among the weeks interesting storylines. Seiffert, a Florida State teammate with Berger and Brooks Koepka, was one shot off the lead after birdieing his first hole Saturday, but faded to weekend rounds of 72-71 to finish 43rd. He had the opportunity to be the first Monday qualifier to finish in the top 10 this season. Only four Monday qualifiers have posted top-25s. This was the second successful qualifying attempt this season for Seiffert, who finished T74 at The RSM Classic.
 
FIVE INSIGHTS

1. This probably should come as no surprise, but Spieth was among the weeks best from around the green. He finished second in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green, averaging [plus]1.51 strokes gained per round. It was the best performance around the greens by a winner this season (at a tournament where all four rounds were measured by ShotLink). Rod Pampling averaged [plus]1.30 Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green in his win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, while Kim averaged [plus]1.23 in his win at THE PLAYERS Championship.

2. Perhaps Spieths iron play should get more credit, though. He leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green this season, and ranked seventh in that category at the Travelers Championship ([plus]1.25). Spieth average proximity to the hole on approach shots (27 feet, 0 inches) was nearly 15 feet better than the field average (41, 8). Spieth won despite not having his best stuff with his putter, finishing 31st in Strokes Gained: Putting ([plus]0.57).

3. This was just the fourth time this season that a player has won after losing strokes to the field off the tee. Spieth ranked 56th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last week, averaging -0.26 strokes per round. Spieth owns two of the four wins this season by a player who lost strokes to the field off the tee. He also did so in his win at the AT&T Pebble Beach

4. Spieth joined Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era to win 10 times by the age of 24. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24. Its impossible for Spieth to match that number, as hell celebrate his 24th birthday on July 27.

5. This is the 10th week this season that Spieth has ranked in the top five of the FedExCup.

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