McIlroy comes to grips with new putting style

MIAMI • Rory McIlroy will experiment with a new putting grip at this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami after struggling on the greens and missing the cut in his previous PGA Tour start.

The Northern Irish world No. 3 says he has used the unconventional cross-handed grip - with his left hand placed below the right - a lot in recent years as a putting drill.

He only used the style competitively in 2008, but felt that the time had come to test it out at a tournament.

Jordan Spieth, who has upstaged McIlroy as the No. 1-ranked player in the world, is among those who also putt cross-handed.

"Over the past few weeks my right hand was becoming a little bit too dominant, so I practised over the weekend, just with left below right and it felt really, really good," McIlroy told reporters at Doral, ahead of yesterday's opening round.


Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during a practice round ahead of the Cadillac Championship in Miami. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

"So I'm going to give it a try this week and see where we go with it. 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 and that's really what I wanted to do."

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The four-time Major winner missed the cut at the Honda Classic last week after struggling with his putting and he decided to revert to a method he employed during his first full season as a professional.

Golf fans following McIlroy for the first two rounds this week at the Trump National Doral Resort will be treated to another rare sight - the game's top three players grouped together.

The 26-year-old has been paired in a high-profile grouping with American Spieth and second-ranked Australian Jason Day.

"It is going to be fun," said McIlroy. "I have played a lot with Jason and a lot with Jordan over the past few years but we haven't really played together in a three-ball."

Twenty-nine of the world's top 30 players are competing in the first of the season's four elite World Golf Championships events.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'McIlroy comes to grips with new putting style'. Print Edition | Subscribe