Keys To Winning The U.S. Open At Pebble Beach - #4 Make The Putts


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , | Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2010

It looks like there is going to be an exciting finish to the 110th playing of the U.S.Open at Pebble Beach. Over the past three days we have looked at the keys for winning on this very difficult course as discussed by Michael Breed on The Golf Fix. The keys areas are:

1.)Drive the fairways
2.)Know how to hit a knock down shot
3.)Have a good wedge game
4.)Make the putts.

Putting was a big story during the third round. Tiger Woods made a charge posting a 66 to finish in third heading into the final round. He did it with ball striking and clutch putting. He birdied the last three holes and we finally saw the "Tiger fist pump" that we had become so accustomed to seeing.

Ernie Els made a charge climbing up the leaderboard thanks to his touch on the greens. Els is looking to win the U.S. Open for the third time. It has been thirteen years since he won his last Open and he is looking to take his place amongst the elite again.

Graeme Mcdowell needed only 13 putts over the final 10 holes to keep himself in contention. He had a few blips in his round but his timely putts kept him in the final grouping with Dustin Johnson. Mcdowell is playing with great composure despite being out driven by Johnson by some thirty or forty yards off the tee.

As I eluded to, Johnson is bombing it with his driver. No one in the field comes close to him in distance. He his also shown a great short game that has kept him in the lead entering the last eighteen holes. He has won twice at Pebble Beach, winning the last two AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am championships.

Johnson displayed great composure around the green with his wedges and made some clutch putts coming down the stretch. It seemed like everyone including the television analyst were waiting for him to falter, but he never did. He just kept making putts.

I grew up playing basketball and coached for a while during college. The team that wins the close games is the one that makes their free throws at the end of the game. When a team has the lead, they will be fouled and put on the line on purpose in order to stop the clock. As long as you make the free throws you shut the door on your opponent.

The same is true in golf. The player that wins the tournament is the one that makes the putts down the stretch. We saw this in 2008 when Tiger made putt after putt to win that championship in dramatic fashion. Today will probably be the same.

I have been working on my putting a lot lately and my handicap has been improving as a result. My lag putting has gotten better and I am not posting as many three-putts. I now have a greater confidence when standing over those testy three to five footers. These are the putts that need to be made when trying to shoot better scores.

Here's some video instruction on putting. If you have any putting drills that you have been working on, feel free to leave a comment. Have a good day watching the final round, and then you can get back to practicing. Have a good one and always hit your target.

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