Golf Channel pundit Brandel Chamblee has suggested that Rory McIlroy needs to make changes to his putting in order to arrest a winless run that stretches back almost 18 months.
McIlroy is currently ranked 129th in Strokes Gained: Putting (-0.08) through eight rounds on the PGA Tour this season, following on from being ranked 140th in 2017 and 135th in 2016.
After opening with a two-over-par 72 at the Honda Classic, Chamblee and major champion David Duval dissected McIlroy’s recent woes with the short stick.
“He started working with Phil Kenyon in 2016 and you can see it hasn’t worked,” said Chamblee on Golf Channel. “The putting stroke, when you look at it, looks pretty good.
“Maybe he looks like he’s got a bit too much tension in his setup, he looks a little too bent over to me. Maybe he looks a little too wooden and carries the grip end a little bit more towards the hole.
“All of those things certainly stand out to me but he kind of looked that way in 2011, 12, 13, 14 as well – but he was a better putter then and he’s a worse putter now. So at some point you need to ask yourself, what do I need to do differently?
“He’s been working with the same guy for two years and these are big years – the prime of his career – and he’s letting things slide away because he’s missing a lot of makeable putts.”
Duval added: "It seems like there’s still too much pull and drag. If you look at the freedom of Tiger and Rickie – it’s a beautiful stroke and a beautiful release.
"It just seems so mechanical, so forced. The freedom and beauty with which he swings a golf club and drives the ball, it doesn’t match. Something’s just a little bit off."
At the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, McIlroy made a five-putt (above) en route to missing the cut while, at the Genesis Open, he changed the finish on his putter for the opening round at Riviera before switching back to his regular putter for the remaining three rounds.