It's weird some of the stats we focus on when evaluating PGA Tour success. We look at par breakers and sand saves, success from 100 yards and in and 200 yards and out. There is a stat for almost anything in the world of golf, but sometimes we forget the one core rule that will hold true for every single generation that picks up a golf club: if you can putt, you can play.
We saw it last month when Brandt Snedeker got on a run and won the FedEx Cup. On Sunday at the Frys.com Open, we saw it again. Jonas Blixt, the 28-year-old Swede, who is putting the finishing touches on his first full season on the PGA Tour, isn't close to the longest hitter on tour (125th in driving distance) or even in accuracy (also 125th on tour this season), but the guy can roll the rock.
Brad Faxon 2.0 won his first PGA Tour event at CordeValle on Sunday thanks to another incredible week on the greens, and it once again proved that no matter how you slap the ball around the golf course, if you can get the ball in the hole you have a chance at doing great stuff.
Blixt ranks first on tour in strokes gained from putting, and last week at the Frys.com he was first in strokes gained and first in putts per round (he had 25, 28, 27 and 25 putts per round this week, needing just 1.604 putts per green in regulation).
There isn't a ton more you can say about Blixt's week besides the fact that unlike a lot of Fall Series winners, this guy might be around for years to come (five top-10s in his last nine starts) simply because the guy can roll the rock with incredible confidence (and, it's worth noting, he's doing all this with a short putter, which only helps his cause if the long putters ever get outlawed).
A U.S. Open champion shows life
For golfers, it isn't even healthy to go check Michael Campbell's career after his 2005 U.S. Open win at Pinehurst. The New Zealander has had some really rough finishes at major events (and even some of the smaller ones) and many had written him off as a flash in the pan. But the 43-year-old showed some signs of life last week at the Portugal Masters, finishing alone in third place behind winner Shane Lowry and Ross Fisher, who ended up a shot back.
Campbell didn't post a round over 70 all week, and it was his first top-three finish on the European Tour in four years.
It isn't exactly a triumphant return to the majors, but at least Campbell could get the ball around and do some nice things at a sneaky stacked field for a late year European Tour event.
Just a reminder ...
Phil Mickelson will be attempting a million-dollar shot at halftime of the Broncos-Chargers Monday Night Football game for charity. All of the details of the shot are right here.