Rory McIlroy is hoping a change in putting grip can inspire him to victory at the World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship this week.
The Northern Irishman set the internet abuzz on Wednesday as he posted a video on social media showing him using a left-below-right putting grip and, when facing the media before heading out to practice, he confirmed he would be using it at Trump National Doral.
The change sees McIlroy going back to the technique he used in his rookie season on The European Tour in 2008 as he searches for a first win of the 2016 campaign.
The 26 year old secured two top tens on the Desert Swing but, despite missing the cut last week on the US PGA Tour, he insists his change with the putter is more evolution than revolution.
“It’s a drill that I’ve been doing for a while because I feel like my left hand controls my putting stroke and that’s the lead hand for me,” he said. “I felt like over the past few weeks, my right hand was becoming a little bit too dominant.
￼”I practised over the weekend just with left below right and it felt really, really good. I’m going to give it a try this week and see where we go with it. But it felt really, really good. The roll of the ball is really good. The contact is much better, and it really just takes my right hand out of it.
“I feel like it’s something I’m going to stick with regardless of what the outcome is tomorrow or this week or next week.”
While putting plays a major part in every round of golf, at Doral progress off the tee is just as important if you are to master its 7,543 yards.
McIlroy has never had a problem in that department, averaging over 300 yards off the tee on The European Tour in every season since 2009, but he believes it will take more than just power to get the job done this week.
“You stand on some tee boxes and think, ‘because of my length, I could really have an advantage here’, but I think there’s a lot of holes here where a lot of guys are going to be playing shots from the same areas, the same distances,” he said. “But you have to pick and choose your spots where to be aggressive and where not to.”
McIlroy has been paired with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day for the first two days in Florida and is looking forward to mixing it with the only two players above him in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I’ve played a lot with Jason and a lot with Jordan over the past few years, but we haven’t really played much together in a three-ball,” he said.
“So the next two days are going to be enjoyable. It will be good out there, hopefully a little bit of buzz around that group. Very much looking forward to that.”
From European Tour