McIlroy: Putter switch helped

Last Updated: 21/02/20 1:04am

2:59
Rory McIlroy reflects on an encouraging start to the WGC-Mexico Championship and explains the reasons for changing his putter.
Rory McIlroy reflects on an encouraging start to the WGC-Mexico Championship and explains the reasons for changing his putter.

Rory McIlroy believes the decision to revert to an old putter helped him set the early pace at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

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The world No 1 trialled a slightly longer putter during his tied-fifth finish at the Genesis Invitational last week, before switching back to the flat stick he used throughout 2019 for the opening World Golf Championship of the year.

McIlroy immediately saw the benefits of the returning to his familiar putter as he posted a six-under 65 at Club de Golf Chapultepec, giving him a two-shot lead over Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.

McIlroy won the WGC-HSBC Champions in October
McIlroy won the WGC-HSBC Champions in October

“I holed a nice one at the last at Riviera, which sort of gave me a little bit of momentum going into this week, but I changed my putter when I got here,” McIlroy said.

“I went back to my old putter. I was sort of trying out a new putter last week and it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to, so I went back to the 34-inch (one inch shorter than the one used in California).

McIlroy two ahead in Mexico

Report and highlights from the opening round of the WGC-Mexico Championship.

“I just felt a little bit more comfortable today and was seeing my lines a little bit better, and yeah, it was a good day. If I keep putting like that, I’ll be very happy.

“I’m not expecting to gain three and a half on the greens every day this week, but if I can keep my strokes gained numbers in the positive and putt better than the field average on greens like this, then you’re doing something right.”

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Watson mixed five birdies with a lone bogey in his opening-round 67, with Thomas also in a share of second as he looks to go one better than his runner-up finish at the event in 2018.

“I played well,” Thomas said. “It was a little difficult to start it felt like with this wind, it wasn’t something that we’re accustomed to out here. It’s usually very, very calm.

Thomas birdied two of his last four holes to get within two of the lead
Thomas birdied two of his last four holes to get within two of the lead

“Took us a little bit to adjust, but when I missed the greens I felt like I missed them in good spots and got it up-and-down, made a couple key putts and really felt like I did everything I needed to do.to.”

Watch the WGC-Mexico Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 5pm on Sky Sports Golf.

Source : Sky Sports