AUGUSTA, Ga. – When Rory McIlroy switched to a cross-handed putting grip prior to last month’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, the general thought was that the move was made in preparation for the Masters.
On Friday at Augusta National, the world No. 3 made an impressive statement with a second-round 71 that was, not surprisingly, driven by clutch putting.
McIlroy needed just 29 putts on Day 2 and currently ranks eighth in the field in putts per greens in regulation with a 1.75 average.
“It's feeling good. I changed for a reason. I felt like it was better for me. I felt like it was a a more consistent roll,” said McIlroy, who moved to 3 under par and is tied for second place, one shot behind Jordan Spieth. “My putting feels good. It feels much better than where it was in February. So progress report is good.”
As a sign of that progress, McIlroy has never ranked better than 18th in putts per GIR in seven previous starts at Augusta National.