Sport Golf

Friday 23 February 2018

'I'm sticking with it' - Rory McIlroy reveals massive change to his putting technique at Doral

Rory McIlroy at the Honda Classic last week
Rory McIlroy at the Honda Classic last week

Phil Casey

Just weeks before attempting to complete the career grand slam by winning the Masters, Rory McIlroy has made a major change to his putting technique.

After missing the cut in the Honda Classic last week, McIlroy posted a video on social media of himself practising putting with his left hand below his right on the grip.

And the world number three confirmed on Wednesday that he intends to use the "crosshanded" method in competition, starting with this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

"I feel like it's something I'm going to stick with, regardless of what the outcome is tomorrow," the four-time major winner said in his pre-tournament press conference.

McIlroy is currently ranked 68th on the European Tour with an average of 29.3 putts per round, but eighth in putts per green in regulation with an average of 1.698.

The 26-year-old started the season by finishing third in Abu Dhabi and sixth in Dubai, but slipped to a tie for 20th in the Northern Trust Open after sharing the lead with 17 holes to play, before missing the cut in the Honda Classic for the second year in succession.

McIlroy welcomed the "kick in the backside" his performance at PGA National provided 12 months ago but went on to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons at Doral after throwing his three-iron into a lake during his second round.

The PGA Tour does not reveal how much players are fined for such incidents, but McIlroy told Press Association Sport in October: ''The fine was reduced from 25,000 to 5,000 (dollars) because I said I was sorry on the TV interview afterwards.''

World number two Jason Day, who will play alongside McIlroy and world number one Jordan Spieth in the first two rounds, has also made a slow start to the season after a three-month break around the birth of his second child.

But the US PGA champion was in confident mood after seeking advice from the sidelined Tiger Woods in an hour-long phone call last week.

"It was a good call," Day told his pre-tournament press conference. "If you're going to pick a guy's brain, he's the guy. I can't count how many times he said effort and mindset and everything, (it) had to do a lot with the mind.

"Once I improve the mental game for myself, this is the last piece of the puzzle for me, I believe, and I think I'll be able to go out there and just kind of kill it.

"Every time that I talk to him, it's mindset, mental toughness, effort. It didn't matter how bad it was; if it was a course that he did not like, he was just going to flat out execute you. It did not matter.

"That's that killer instinct that I need to get back like I had at the second half of last year, get back and take it into this year and go through with it."

Press Association

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