Sport Golf

Thursday 18 October 2018

'He sent videos of my body language' - Rory McIlroy reveals how email from Brad Faxon helped improve his putting

8 July 2018; Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland birdies the 11th green during Day Four of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Ballyliffin Golf Club in Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal. Photo by John Dickson/Sportsfile
8 July 2018; Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland birdies the 11th green during Day Four of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Ballyliffin Golf Club in Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal. Photo by John Dickson/Sportsfile

Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his US Open campaign as he seeks a first major title since 2014 in next week's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

McIlroy chances at Shinnecock Hills last month should have been boosted by a lengthy spell of preparation on Long Island, the 29-year-old renting a house in the area for two weeks and making the trip east immediately after finishing in a tie for eighth in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

However, the four-time major winner slumped to an opening 80 and went on to miss the cut for the third year in succession, despite a 10-shot improvement in the second round.

McIlroy will spend several days in London at the start of this week before stepping up his preparation for Carnoustie, where he made his Open debut as an 18-year-old and won the silver medal for leading amateur.

"I'll just treat it like any other event," McIlroy said. "Prepare the way I normally do and go out and play and see what happens. I'm not putting any pressure on myself.

"My record in the Open Championship's been pretty good the last few years - I don't think I've been outside the top five in three years - and I'll just go out and play my game. If I can do that and commit 100 per cent to what I'm doing I'm sure I won't be far away."

Asked if it will be beneficial to already have knowledge of Carnoustie, rather than having to learn a new course such as Shinnecock Hills, McIlroy added: "Especially having knowledge of it in an Open Championship.

"We play it in the Dunhill [Links Championship] most years and it's nowhere near what it's going to be like for an Open so it is nice. I feel like I almost over-prepared for Shinnecock. I was there too long and was starting to see all the spots you shouldn't hit it in - and that's where I was hitting it!

"To know the course and what to expect is nice."

McIlroy struggled with his putting for most of the Irish Open, but improved in a final round of 71 after receiving an email from occasional putting consultant Brad Faxon.

"He sent a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week so it was a good little reminder that attitude is important and it seemed to help today," McIlroy joked. "If I putt for four days at Carnoustie like I did today, I'd be happy."

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