The Kraft Nabisco is over, but the lessons learned were many. Well, actually, the lessons learned were really just one and it was pretty clear. It all came down to putting! The first round leader, Amy Yang, fell back to tied for 8th after a round that carded a total of 30 putts. Her first round had a putt count of only 19! Over the course of the entire tournament, Suzann Pettersen hit more greens in regulation than the winner, yet she tied for 15th overall with putt counts of 31, 32, 28 and 32. The third round had wind gusts and a few gales that had players hitting knock down shots and 3/4 shots among others. Their creativity was cranked up a notch thanks to mother nature. The final round was all about the drama, per usual for the Kraft Nabisco. The final point of drama, a one foot putt on 18 that drifted right. I.K. Kim’s putt count for each round was 27, 32, 29 and 33. It seemed that the drama was the 1 foot putt on 18, but there were many putts on many other holes during the final round that could have clinched it for her prior to arriving on the storied 18th green. So now we come to the winner, Sun Young Yoo. Her putt count over the course of the tournament? First round 31, a touch high. Second round a solid 28. Third round 31 putts and her final round putt count a low 26! It’s a repeat of the first round….putting, putting and more putting!
It never really comes down to the last putt to win a tournament, save a great score, beat your opponent or even achieve your personal best. It is always, about the overall number of putts per round that does it. To be a bit philosophical here, there is always yin and yang in everything and it’s certainly with us in golf. Take a minute to reflect on a round you’ve played in the past and think about the putts you’ve made. You probably dropped a 20 or 30 footer at some point during the round and may have missed a 3 footer for par. What do you focus on? The missed 3 footer which was, in your opinion, the reason why you didn’t break 80 or 90 or 100. If the outcome were described this way, the feeling would be entirely different. You nestle a 30 foot putt inches from the cup on a double tier green for a tap in and think to yourself, “ahhh that was a great two putt from there!” You then drain that 3 footer and the outcome for score is the same, you didn’t break 80 or 90 or 100. Do you reflect back on the missed 30 footer and say, “I would have had a great score if I had only dropped that 30 footer!” I’m going to guess no. Instead, you reflect on how you played great and you almost broke the number! Ahh….the yin and yang of it all, it’s what keeps us coming back!