Jordan Spieth is officially out of his slump - and the numbers prove it. Barry Plummer wraps up the week's tour action
Being the tournament the week after a major championship – especially a history-making one – is always a tough gig. But does Colonial ever let us down? As we sail back into major season with the US Women’s Open and US Open around the corner, let’s round up the action on tour over the past few days…
Year of the Spieth
As a man who likes to trust the numbers over his feelings towards a golfer, I’m delirious that Jordan Spieth is ticking both boxes.
After his well-publicised troubles in recent years, how good is it to see Spieth back at his best? After winning in Texas a few weeks ago – his first title since the 2017 Open – he has shown no signs of slowing down as he rises to second in the FedEx Cup standings.
And according to DataGolf, Spieth is clearly the best golfer on the planet right now.
Before the Charles Schwab Challeng, he ranked 1st for Strokes Gained: Total since the turn of the year is in positive numbers in the SG rankings for Off the Tee (+0.08), Tee to Green (+1.72), Approach (+1.21), Around the Green (+0.46) AND Putting (+0.46).
And those numbers will have improved thanks to a runner-up finish at Colonial. Spieth opened with a 63 before back-to-back 66s on Friday and Saturday to lead through 54 holes. A dissapointing 3-over 73 left him second to Jason Kokrak, but it’s now six top-five finishes in 12 events – a 50% return – in 2021 so far.
If that isn’t enough to highlight Spieth’s surge back to the top of the game, Spieth was ranked 92nd in the world less than four months ago and came dangerously close to falling out the top 100. He’s now 23rd.
No tour pro is as relatable as Spieth. It’s great to have him back.
And of course there’s a Tiger Woods related stat…
It was a cagey affair down the straight, with both Kokrak and Spieth leaking shots, and when the latter needed birdie down the last he did this…
It allowed Kokrak to wedge to the front of the green and secure his second PGA Tour victory.
Kokrak needed 233 attempts to get his first PGA Tour title. He needed just 16 more to get his second.
There were also impressive performances from Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia that will have done no harm to their Ryder Cup hopes, with Poulter securing his best PGA Tour finish of the season for three years.
- WHAT’S IN THE WINNER’S BAG? See Kokrak’s set-up here
Wiesberger doubles up
Speaking of Ryder Cup hopefuls, a sensational display from Bernd Wiesberger saw him secure back-to-back Made in HimmerLand titles and his eighth European Tour win overall.
A back-nine which saw five birdies in six holes assisted the Austrian in posting a 7-under-par final round 64. The chasing pack had no chance.
Italian Guido Migliozzi did his best to challenge Wiesberger, posting an 8-under-par 63 in the final round, but still came up five shots shy.
Notable performances on the home front from Jordan Smith, Ross Fisher and recent British Masters champion Richard Bland allowed them to creep into the top-six at an event that always belonged to one man.
- WHAT’S IN THE WINNER’S BAG? See Wiesberger’s set-up here
Move over Phil…
It was major championship week on the PGA Champions Tour, and Alex Cejka overcame a strong challenge from Retief Goosen, Tim Petrovic and KJ Choi on the final day as he secured a first Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
And as if Mickelson making history last week wasn’t enough…
The last player to win two majors in his rookie senior season? Some bloke called Jack Nicklaus.
The inaugural LPGA Match Play began in controversy when Ciganda Carlota was pinged with a controversial slow-play penalty, but it proved to be a successful week at Shadow Creek.
In her seventh match of the five-day tournament, most played in sweltering heat, Ally Ewing saw off reigning Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov 2&1 for her second LPGA title.
You can watch the highlights from the final day here…
Koepka vs DeChambeau hots up
One thing we can all agree on is the ongoing battle between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau is the most entertaining thing on social media at the moment.
There was genuine resentment from Koepka in that hilarious outtake from a Golf Channel interview that went viral at Kiawah Island, but it’s become more of a friendly back and forth since then.
Even Koepka’s fiancée, Jena Sims, stoked the fire…
You have to say it’s a ‘latte’ fun… (Sorry.)
Meanwhile with Tiger Woods out of action DeChambeau will take his place in the next instalment of The Match against Mickelson. The pair will be joined by NFL stars Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
I mean, you’d think Mickelson would step aside for Koepka on this one…
Anyway, I’m off to watch that video for the 3,000th time. Same time next week?