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.
McIlroy 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 said 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 No 2 Jason Day heads into the event hoping some advice from Tiger Woods can help him kick on after making his major breakthrough in last year’s US PGA Championship.
“I talked a little bit to Tiger last week on the phone, and just speaking to him ... with regards to all this stuff, practice and balancing and dominating for so many years,” said the Australian.
“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, 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 comes up, it’s mindset, mental, 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.”
World No 1 Jordan Spieth arrives in Florida off the back of a missed cut at the Northern Trust Open.
While he knows all eyes will be on the marquee three-ball of him, Day and McIlroy, the 22-year-old does not believe that will have any effect on the players.
“When we get out there, we’re playing our own game,” he said. “I don’t think any of us are buying into any added motivation or excitement based on a pairing. I don’t think we would at any point.
“For me personally, I would say it’s going to be a lot of fun, because I enjoy playing with both of them.”