(BBC Sport Photo)
Tiger Woods shot a 71 in today's opening round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont. It's a good start for Tiger. He did a pretty decent job of hitting fairways and greens. And Tiger had 30 putts, not exactly burning up the greens but respectable.
We all know that when Tiger starts well the rest of the tournament (especially if it's a major) can go his way.
However, something else reminded me of why Tiger will win the U.S. Open. I just saw John Feinstein interviewed on Charlie Rose. Feinstein was talking about his new book, Tales from Q School.
Rose asked Feinstein what separated the first-tier PGA Tour players from everyone else. One thing Feinstein mentioned was putting. Then Feinstein cited this statistic: Tiger Woods attempted 485 putts within 5 feet of the hole on the PGA Tour in 2005. Tiger made all of them. ALL OF THEM.
(Ponder that for a moment.)
If Tiger does a reasonable job of controlling his golf ball from tee to green this week, putting will make the difference. Tiger will make those nerve-wracking par putts. While others will be wishing them into the hole, Tiger will be willing them into the hole.
If you watched any of the coverage today, you know there will be a bundle of putts in the throw-up range. The one who makes the most putts wins.
The Armchair Golfer