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Rory Mcilroy tipped for more heroics after easing his putting misery

Guru Kenyon can guide Ulster star to great things, says coach Foster

By Paul Kelly

Published 07/09/2016

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his shot on the 14th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 16th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 16th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after his putt on the 17th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 17th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 17th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 17th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the 17th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his shot on the 14th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks on on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot on the 16th green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the third hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship golf tournament in Norton, Mass., Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the ninth tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up his ball after putting out on the second hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship golf tournament in Norton, Mass., Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the ninth tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on the seventh hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the fourth green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on the seventh hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the fourth green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 5, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy reminded everyone why he remains the most exciting golfer in the world by coming from six shots behind to win the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.

The 27-year-old turned his 2016 PGA Tour season around in spectacular fashion with a superb performance in Boston that owed everything to some new-found confidence on the greens.

By his own admission, the Ulsterman's putting has been poor all summer. He tried a change of grip but that didn't produce the results he hoped for and then finally, after a 'pathetic' display at the US PGA Championship, he sought out a new coach in Phil Kenyon.

Kenyon has worked with the likes of Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen and now McIlroy appears to have turned things around having made a slight adjustment to his grip after round one in Boston.

"I felt on Friday there were a few putts that I missed right, and I felt like my right hand was a little too much on the side of the grip instead of on top of it, so I felt like the clubface was opening just a little bit on my putts and I missed a few right," said McIlroy, who insisted his putting is still very much a work in progress.

"So the little tweak was that I just sort of placed my right hand just a little bit more on top of the grip instead of to the side, helping keep the face square through impact and starting the ball online and it's helped. It's a very simple fix."

Simple it may have been but the Holywood golfer began the tournament ranked 130th in strokes gained putting and 165th in total putting. He finished the week seventh in strokes gained putting and first in putting average.

Which begs a number of questions. How did Rory manage to turn things around so quickly? Is Kenyon some sort of magician and is it simply to do with the fact that Rory switched from using a Nike putter to a Scotty Cameron model?

Greenacres-based coach Johnny Foster said: "Well firstly I'm not overly surprised to see him win because after all, he is Rory McIlroy. When you put Rory's natural ability with the fact that he has putted well in the past and then add Phil's new guidance, that sort of display isn't beyond him."

A member of the Irish Ladies Golfing Union (ILGU) High Performance team, Foster spent some time with Kenyon in the past and has great admiration for the 42-year-old Englishman.

"I met Phil for the first time about seven years ago. Michael Hoey was good enough to let me come over and spend some time watching them work together," added Foster.

"He's a really good guy, intelligent, a very effective coach and now has a stable of world class players.

"He was always ahead of his time, a modern coach who embraced and utilised technology. He almost takes an MRI of what the student is doing on the greens and then builds specific practice drills to address the issues that have been highlighted."

Nor should the change of putter be overlooked as an important element in Rory's improvement on the greens, according to another of the ILGU's High Performance coaches, Donal Scott.

A putting specialist, Scott believes that while a change of equipment can make a difference psychologically it can also have some practical benefits.

"It varies from player to player but with some people a new putter can significantly change aim," said Scott, who is currently coaching Challenge Tour players Chris Selfridge and Gary Hurley.

"How the player looks down at the putter, the dimensions of it and the head style can have a pretty big impact.

"I don't know what Phil and Rory are working on specifically, but I'm sure that having a better understanding of why certain putts react the way they do has given Rory some confidence and that has translated into the performance you saw at the weekend."

Belfast Telegraph

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