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Stockton helps McIlroy prep putting for Riviera

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LOS ANGELES – Making his first non-World Golf Championship start on the West Coast, Rory McIlroy said he’s spent extra time studying Riviera Country Club’s greens this week.

For the first time since last year’s Open in October he also spent some time working with putting coach Dave Stockton Sr.

Stockton told on Wednesday at the Northern Trust Open that McIlroy’s putting doesn’t need a lot of maintenance and that they just talked about the world No. 3’s tendencies on the greens.

“His hands get too low and he hits it left and I want him to roll it, not hit it. Sometimes his left hand stops [at impact] and I want him to keep the hands moving,” Stockton said.

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Stockton talked with the Northern Irishman on Tuesday when McIlroy played a nine-hole practice round and on Wednesday during the pro-am.

It’s a subject McIlroy said will be key this week at Riviera, which puts a premium on short putts.

 “I think I saw a stat the other day that there were more 3-footers missed here than there were anywhere else last year, I think by a long way actually,” he said. “You hit 12 greens around here, you've done pretty well. So there will be a lot of those holing-out-type distances for pars that will be important.”