A lot of people were questioning the young Irish player’s decision on returning to a conventional putting grip but after his performance last week at Memorial it seems to have been the correct decision. This past week at Muirfield Village, Rory McIIlroy returned his best 4 round average for strokes gained putting in his career. The 1.826 SGP average helped him finish T-4th at The Memorial Tournament and he finished 3rd for strokes gained putting in the field that week.
The four-time major winner hasn’t exactly had misfortune with putting left-hand-low this season and that is why making this change so close to the second major of the year is questionable. Rory started putting left-hand-low after a missed cut at the Honda Classic and since then has finished T-3, T-27, 4, T-10, T-4, T-12 and importantly also won the Irish Open with the unconventional grip. All fantastic results and so far seems to be having a very strong 2016 season. So why the change?
Well according to recent press conferences McIlroy said he was finding it difficult to judge pace and with coming into a couple of tournaments at courses with renowned fast greens, he made the change. One of those being of course, Oakmont Golf Club which is hosting the 2016 U.S. Open.
In McIlroy’s PGA tour career, he has only ever finished twice in the top 100 for strokes gained putting. He finished 88th in 2012 and his highest finish was 41st in 2014, where he won the Open Championship and the PGA championship. This week at the Memorial, McIlroy entered the tournament ranked 122nd for strokes gained putting but left 65th.
Although it might be too early to hand McIlroy the U.S. Open trophy, the recent putting statistics show that the conventional grip is Major winning.
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By Rachael McQueen, Community Engagement Executive at Shot Scope