McIlroy switches putting grip after missed cut last week

Wed Mar 2, 2016 5:05pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy will experiment with a new putting grip, with his left hand placed below the right, 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 number three says he has used the unconventional cross-handed grip a lot in recent years as a putting drill and felt the time had come to test it out in competition.

"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 on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round.

"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."

McIlroy, a four-times 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.

"I used it back in my first year on tour, 2008, for a while but it's a drill that I've always done,” said the 26-year-old. "And I have also putted a lot with just my left hand.

"It's one of those things where the drill started to feel better than the real thing so I'm just going to stick with it."

McIlroy has been paired in a high-profile grouping with world number one Jordan Spieth and second-ranked Jason Day for the first two rounds this week at the Trump National Doral Resort.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

 
Feb 26, 2016; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy tees off on the 14th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at PGA National. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports