Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Golf: McIlroy makes serious putting adjustment

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, walks from the 14th green during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, walks from the 14th green during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Everything about Rory McIlroy's golf game looks so smooth.

That magnificent coil into a wide long arc and impetus through the ball off the tee, the flush of his long irons, imagination around his short game and the boldness in his putting.

Three majors on his resume and in the top line of global talent with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. What's not to like? His putting apparently.

A month shy of the Masters-the major which has eluded him-McIlroy has gone for a serious putting adjustment. A look at McIlroy's 169th ranking in the putting stats endorses his anxiety.

So McIlroy has gone the way of Spieth and reversed his hands on the putter as he plays alongside Spieth and Day in the opening round of the WGC championship at Doral in Florida.

McIlroy has gone left hand low after he blamed poor putting for missing the cut in last week's event when he was four over par after 36 holes because of some erratic tee to green work but mostly uncertain putting..

"I feel like my left hand controls my putting stroke and that's the lead hand for me," McIlroy said. "But over the last few weeks I have felt like my right hand was becoming a little bit too dominant and a little too active in the stroke.

"So I practised with the new grip over the weekend and it felt really, really good. The roll of the ball was really good. The contact is much better and it just takes my right hand out of it. I really feel like I'm controlling the stroke with my left hand only. So I'm going to give it a try this week and see where we go with it."

It was not a stop-gap fix, McIlroy promised.

He was concerned last week when his right hand became too dominant and he missed putts on the left hand side of the hole. He had practised a lot with his new grip and it felt natural.

"So I thought, 'why not give it a go?' "

In 10 PGA rounds this year, McIlroy averages 29.71 putts a round compared to Spieth's 27.29.

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