CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Keith Mitchell began the final round of last week’s Valspar Championship with an outside chance to contend. When his Sunday ended he’d taken 82 shots to get around Innisbrook and finished 69th.
For Mitchell, it didn’t make any sense, particularly the 42 putts he needed to close his week. “When I’d hit a putt it felt like I still had the putter cover on,” he explained.
When he arrived for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, the first thing he did was go to the putting green with his putting coach and look for answers.
“My coach was like your stroke is fine but the loft on your putter is off,” Mitchell said.
Where the shaft meets Mitchell’s putter head had been bent creating a few extra degrees of loft. Mitchell said he wasn’t sure how his putter was damaged, but it took equipment representatives about three minutes to fix. Better results quickly followed.
Mitchell needed just 28 putts on Thursday at Quail Hollow Club and gained 1.66 shots on the field in strokes gained: putting for a first-round 67 and a share of fourth place.
“I realized it was my putter, not me,” he laughed.