It's Time to Talk About Justin Thomas' Putting

Scottie Scheffler isn't the only big name on the PGA Tour struggling on the greens.
Valspar Championship - Round Three
Valspar Championship - Round Three / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

One of the biggest topics of conversation on the PGA Tour over the last calendar year has been the putting woes of Scottie Scheffler. It's officially time we shift that conversation over to Justin Thomas.

Thomas was tied for the lead at the Valspar Championship after making birdie on the first hole on Saturday, but ended the day tied for 66th place after a disastrous putting performance that included a missed two-footer. On the day, Thomas didn't make a putt from outside 33 inches-- and that came on the first hole. In total he had 38 putts and shot an eight-over par 79. For the round, he lost 7.034 strokes putting, his worst putting round ever.

This isn't an aberration either. Thomas is one of the best ball-strikers on tour with an outstanding short game to match. That's how he won two major championships. But his putting has been among the worst on tour recently and it seems to be getting worse. On the year, Thomas is now 149th in strokes-gained putting out of 178 players. Last year, he ranked T-135 in that statistic and the year before he was T-85.

Scheffler has received more attention for his putting issues over the last two years, mainly because he's the most dominant ball-striker in the game, routinely leading events in strokes-gained tee-to-green, but failing to win because of his inconsistent work on the greens.

Scheffler changed to a mallet putter three weeks ago and has won the previous two PGA Tour events, The Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players. His putter was hot at Bay Hill, but was only average a week later. Still, he won thanks to a Sunday 64, which included a hole-out eagle. On the season, Scheffler is 89th on tour in strokes-gained putting.

Thomas is likewise routinely among the best tee-to-green players. He ranks 10th on tour in strokes-gained tee-to-green and is sixth in strokes-gained approach. But his putting woes have kept him out of regular contention.

Thomas started the season hot, placing T-3, T-6 and T-12 in his first three events. But he missed the cut at the Genesis and The Players and has faded considerably at the Valspar.

The major championship season is a few weeks away, and Thomas' putting seems far away from being ready for that challenge. He has rounded back into form in a lot of ways after last year's disappointing season, but putting remains a major issue.

At this point, even more so than for Scheffler.

Brian Giuffra is an editor at The Big Lead.


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Brian Giuffra

BRIAN GIUFFRA

Brian Giuffra is the VP of Betting Content at Minute Media and has been with the company since 2016. He's a fan of the Knicks, Giants, wine and bourbon, usually consuming them in that order.