124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Is Rory McIlroy's putting on the mend? A round of 67 suggests so

September 03, 2016

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NORTON, Mass. -- Rory McIlroy has struggled with his putting and gone winless on the PGA Tour so far this season, but he hopes he might have turned the corner after a tweak to his putting grip Saturday at TPC Boston.   The 27-year-old former world No. 1 has played his last 33 holes in eight under, which included a four-under 67 in Saturday’s second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. The turnaround began, in earnest, a day earlier when McIlroy holed a 15-footer for triple bogey on No. 12.   “It was probably the best putt I holed in a couple weeks,” he said. “It was nice. I've had a good comeback since then and I feel like my game feels good, tee to green feels good, it's just a matter of holing a few putts and getting some momentum.”   McIlroy had plenty of it on Saturday, making seven birdies and just three bogeys.   Much of his success could be traced to the club that has given him the most fits this year and throughout his career -- McIlroy made a half-dozen putts outside 10 feet and took just 25 putts in all, including only 10 through his first nine holes.   Why the turnaround?   McIlroy, who began working with new putting coach Phil Kenyon last week, adjusted how he was gripping the putter, placing it more in his fingers to help get better feel with his stroke.   There were other factors, too, most of which revolve around getting the putter swinging on a good arc and keeping the face square through impact.   The results were encouraging and for McIlroy that’s just as important.   “It's a work in progress but we're just trying to make everything simpler,” McIlroy said. “There were a lot of moving parts in my putting stroke and just trying to simplify it as much as I possibly can.    “I think now with what I saw on the greens today at least, [my caddie] said to me now we feel like we can go and shoot a low score. Today was very encouraging, it really was. I'm coming off, I'm really happy.”