Behind Improved Putting, Rory Eyes Cadillac Championship Title

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

MIAMI | If you’re wondering how Rory McIlroy went about deciding he would switch to a left-hand-low putting grip, the obvious reason is how poorly he has putted this calendar year.

Thinking about switching and actually doing it are two different things, though.


So after missing the cut at the Honda Classic, McIlroy spent about two hours a day for five days working with his new grip. He also worked in a new practice routine that involves circling the hole, making a series of putts from 3 feet, then 6 feet then 9 feet to enhance his feel.

McIlroy also sent video of his change to putting guru Dave Stockton and top amateur Harry Diamond, whose opinion he values.

There’s no arguing with the results.

McIlroy will take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday at Trump National Doral, having followed his second-round 66 with a 4-under par 68 in breezy conditions Saturday.

Entering the Doral event, McIlroy ranked 197th on Tour in putts made inside 10 feet. Through three rounds, he’s made 49 of 55 and he ranks 11th in strokes gained putting. He’s made just one bogey in the past 36 holes because of the par putts he’s made.

McIlroy made just one putt longer than 8 feet on Saturday – a 16-footer for birdie at the 10th – but the 8-footer for par at the 12th, a 5-footer for par at No. 15 and a 6-footer for par at the 18th accounted for his lead.

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