Jordan Spieth’s climb back to the top of the world took a record-breaking step on Thursday at Colonial Country Club, host of this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
Playing alongside Ryan Palmer and Kevin Kisner, the 25-year-old Texan shot a 5-under par 65 that featured eight birdies, a bogey and a double bogey to trail first-round leader Tony Finau by a stroke.
While his driving stats were above average, it was his work on the greens that more than made up for some lackluster ball striking approaching the green. Spieth picked up 5.464 strokes on the field average on Thursday. That kind of putting performance was required considering he hit seven fairways and 11 greens.
This was the best Strokes Gained: Putting round of Jordan Spieth’s career (+5.40). His previous best was +5.16, in the second round of this year’s PLAYERS.
(Strokes Gained stats undergo a slight adjustment during the day, but this should hold up.)
— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) May 23, 2019
“All in all, I’ve been feeling really good the with flat stick,” Spieth said after the round. “I saved a couple pars early and that was really big for my round because I was a little kind of off the first four holes.
“To play those 1-under when it felt look I should be a couple over allowed me to settle in and get some momentum.”
For Spieth, the momentum of solid play has been building for some time. Each week he plays, he talks about the progress he and his team are making, and while the big numbers continue to be an issue, he’s making those numbers less often.
“I know my game has been progressing,” he said. “I’ve been saying that for the last month or six weeks or so. Results just end up coming when I actually start playing better golf. Simply put, that’s just what I’ve been doing. Been a little bit better off the tee and into the greens and I’ve been a lot better on and around the greens.
“Ultimately I just stay the course and not stress too much about results and let them come to me.”