McIlroy pushes aside pride, gets help with putting

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CARMEL, Ind. – Rory McIlroy’s putting performance at the PGA Championship was so alarming that a few coaches sent him text messages, offering their services.

After missing the cut, McIlroy discussed all of his options with his team before phoning English coach Phil Kenyon – who has worked with Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose, among others – the next day.

“People that know me know I’m not one to seek out advice,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “I always try to figure it out on my own. I’m sort of stubborn that way. If I can get a feeling and feel like I really own it, instead of seeking out advice … I’m sort of too proud to do that in a way. But it got to the point where that wasn’t really working, so I had to go and do something about it.”

McIlroy said he was still in “regular contact” with Dave Stockton Jr. throughout the year, but they never spent any time on the putting green together.

McIlroy met with Kenyon in his studio in England to crunch the Trackman numbers and understand why his putting stats were so poor. 


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“And then, over the last couple of weeks,” McIlroy said, “I felt like we worked well together and I feel like we gelled pretty well, so it was an easy decision to make after that.” 

It looks like a genius move now, of course: McIlroy snapped a 15-month winless drought on Tour with his victory last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. It was the first time in his career that he led the field in both driving distance and putting average.

The last time McIlroy won in Boston was 2012. He rolled to another title the following week at the BMW – the last time the event was held at Crooked Stick.

“I’m feeling good about my game, feeling good to come back to a place where I have had good memories and good feelings before,” McIlroy said. “So it would obviously be very nice to emulate what I did in 2012 by doing it again this year.”