CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Dave Stockton Sr. had seen enough.
On Monday, the two-time major champion turned putting guru sent Rory McIlroy a simple text message – we need to talk.
It had been more than a year since Stockton had worked with the world No. 1 on his putting, but after watching McIlroy endure a tough week on the greens at TPC Sawgrass he needed five minutes to work on the Northern Irishman’s stroke.
It took less than that.
Stockton met McIlroy on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Championship and after a short talk in the locker room the two went to Quail Hollow’s putting green.
“In three minutes he had it,” Stockton said.
Essentially, McIlroy was lifting his head up at impact and after a simple left-handed drill and just three minutes of practice Stockton was confident he’d made his point.
“When he raises up, his left shoulder goes up and he doesn’t go through it. I want the putter to go through. It wasn’t anything for him to change,” Stockton said. “I was so pumped when I came home because I knew he listened.”
McIlroy is sixth this week in total putts at Quail Hollow, compared to 45th last week at The Players, and had 13 one-putt greens on Saturday at Quail Hollow on his way to a course-record 61 and a four-stroke lead.
The two first started working together at the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship and Stockton said he wasn’t surprised McIlroy picked up the changes so quickly.
“I don’t think he’s putted good at all, not as good as he could be,” Stockton said. “He could be one of the best putters on Tour because he has such great feel.”
On Saturday, McIlroy said he hasn’t been happy with his putting for a few weeks, including at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, which he won.
“I holed putts at the right times. I guess that’s more just to do with the mental side of it and drawing on some memories from previous matches or situations where you’ve been,” he said. “I did enough to get by each match.”