Wind making putting a challenge at Gleneagles


Rory McIlroy drops to his knees after missing a putt in his morning match Friday. (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Much is being made of the slower pace of the greens at Gleneagles compared to what most players at this week’s Ryder Cup find on the PGA Tour.

Many putts during the morning fourball matches came up well short of the hole and the course likely played harder than some would have thought. But according to those who participated in the morning session, the lack of birdies had more to do with winds that consistently blew to 25 mph than it did slower-than-normal green speeds.

“I don’t think it was the pace so much as it was the wind and how it moved the ball. The wind affects it. You have putts that might be right center and you have to play outside the left edge,” said Jordan Spieth, who paired with Patrick Reed to defeat Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher, 5 and 4.

Even players who may be accustomed to the slower green speeds like they play in Europe said Friday’s difficulties had more to do with the conditions then the conditioning of the golf course.

“The wind on certain greens, particular Nos. 7 and 8, as you are standing over your putt the ball is oscillating slightly. These greens are very subtle. It’s hard to figure out the break,” Poulter said.