Putter Love: 2012 American Ryder Cup team best with flat stick in at least a decade
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Putter Love: 2012 American Ryder Cup team best with flat stick in at least a decade

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Putting wins in match play. It saves holes, wins holes and destroys the confidence of an opponent.

Thankfully for Davis Love III, his Ryder Cup team is the best American putting dozen over the last five teams fielded.


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Combining the strokes gained putting numbers for the 12 players, four of whom were selected and announced by Love on Tuesday, the team has collectively averaged 4.021 strokes on PGA Tour fields this season. Just one player, Bubba Watson, has lost strokes to the field with the flat stick this year.

Compare those numbers to the tally for the American dozen in the prior four Ryder Cups - going back as far as strokes gained putting has been retroactively measured - and this 2012 team is well ahead of the others.

2010: 2.728 combined strokes gained putting
2008: 2.726
2006: 3.045
2004: 2.126

While this American team is nearly a full stroke better combined than any of the last four Ryder Cup teams, only one of the last four teams actually won.

The victorious 2008 team had three players carrying negative strokes gained putting for the season, including Boo Weekley, who had the worst individual number among the 60 Americans to make the last five Ryder Cup teams.

On the opposite end of the statistical spectrum, Brandt Snedeker's .807 strokes gained putting this season leads the PGA Tour and is the highest number for a player on the last five teams.

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