NORTON, Mass. — If you read or heard anything about Rory McIlroy heading into the Deutsche Bank Championship, it probably wasn’t positive.
McIlroy was struggling mightily with his putter, which led him to switch his coach and flat stick after entering the weekend 130th in strokes gained: putting.
So how did the changes work out? Pretty darn well.
Despite starting the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs 4-over through three holes, McIlroy rebounded to claim his second win at TPC Boston at 15-under overall.
The putting by no means is completely fixed, but a small change during the Deutsche Bank Championship helped him finish seventh in strokes gained: putting this weekend — and first where it mattered most.
“I found something in my putting,” he said. “Obviously my putting’s been the Achilles heel of my game this year. I tweaked a tiny little tweak on Saturday morning on the putting green, and I saw some putts go in and got some confidence from that. Just went with the momentum, and just really proud of myself that I was able to keep that momentum going, keep the same thought and not get negative if I did hit a bad putt, just really kept staying positive the whole way throughout the weekend.”
Fair or not, McIlroy is one of the most scrutinized golfers in the world, and his putting has been put under a microscope over the past week.
So to make such a quick fix obviously was a good feeling for McIlroy, but his resiliency to overcome such a bad start felt even better.
“As I have alluded to, you know, holing some putts and seeing some putts drop and shooting a good score, that gave me confidence to go on to the last couple of days and play the way I did,” he said. “… I think even finishing in the top 10 after that start on Friday would have been a very respectable result, but to be sitting up here and have won the tournament, I’m very proud of myself for that.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images