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New putting stat a curious, confusing mix

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Pop quiz: who is the PGA Tour’s best putter?

If you didn’t say Greg Chalmers . . . well, you’re probably in the majority, but according to the circuit’s complicated new statistic, “strokes gained putting,” the left-handed Australian is the reigning boss of the Tour moss.

The statistic is defined as “the number of putts a player takes from a specific distance (and) measured against a statistical baseline.”

Confused? So is Chalmers.

“I don’t understand that statistic at all,” he admitted on Thursday at Aronimink Golf Club. “But it is nice to be No. 1 in one stat. I’d hate to be No. 1 in bogeys made.”

Still, Chalmers said he’s always considered himself a good putter and wasn’t surprised by any of the players who are currently in the top 10 of strokes gained putting. It’s those who are at the bottom of the list that surprise him.

Although Chalmers did not name any specific player, certain names do stand out, like Ernie Els, who is last on the list at 189th, Adam Scott (No. 185) and Dustin Johnson (No. 153).

Almost makes one believe the Tour isn’t a putting contest – almost.