Spieth possibly the greatest putter ever: Poulter

Jordan Spieth sinking a putt in the final round of the British Open at St Andrews, where he missed the play-off by one stroke. Ian Poulter, who wields a mean putter himself, rates him one of the best.
Jordan Spieth sinking a putt in the final round of the British Open at St Andrews, where he missed the play-off by one stroke. Ian Poulter, who wields a mean putter himself, rates him one of the best.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Europe's Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter believes Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth could go down as the greatest putter golf has ever seen.

World No. 2 Spieth has won four times this season and is breathing down Ulsterman Rory McIlroy's neck at the top of the rankings.

The 22-year-old American, aiming to become the first player to land the opening three Majors of the year since Ben Hogan in 1953, also came within one shot of making the three-way play-off won by compatriot Zach Johnson at this month's British Open.

"The putts Jordan are holing is the reason why he's putting himself in position week in week out," Poulter said. "Statistically he's the best putter in the game and he may go down as he best anyone has ever seen.

"It's because of that he is winning Majors, contending for Majors and coming back from positions when he's putting himself out of contention to win after the first round and eventually going on to win."

Poulter is also renowned as one of golf's best putters and memorably holed five nerveless birdie efforts in the last five holes on the penultimate day of the 2012 Ryder Cup to inspire Europe's "Miracle of Medinah" victory in Illinois.

The 39-year-old feels that Spieth's long-range putting is what separates him from the rest.

The Texas native currently leads the PGA Tour this season in putts per round (an average of 27.88).

He also boasts the best putting from more than 20 feet (13.74 per cent made over 71 rounds), putting from 15 to 25 feet (27.81 per cent) and putting from 20 to 25 feet (28.85 per cent).

"I don't believe we've seen statistics on putting like we've seen from Jordan," said the Englishman, who was back at his home club of Woburn on Monday to host an annual event where he plays the course with 96 invited juniors.

"If you look at the percentage of putts he holes from 25 feet it's remarkable. That's generally the distance you hit it to when you are playing well. It's an amazing percentage of putts that he holes and we all want that sort of putting stroke," added Poulter. REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Spieth possibly the greatest putter ever: Poulter'. Print Edition | Subscribe