Clarity from Butch Harmon helps McIlroy at the right time

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Brennan Asplen/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy insists he has gained some clarity over the swing issues that have blighted his rollercoaster season so far after he carded his first bogey-free round on the PGA Tour for a month at the Valero Texas Open.

Ahead of the Masters next week, where McIlroy will launch a tenth attempt for the Career Grand Slam, he has sought the advice of Butch Harmon to sort out the two way miss in his swing and he feels the veteran coach has helped clear his mind.

“I think what I’m working on or what I’ve been trying to do the last couple weeks is no different than what I’ve been trying to do previously, he just sort of gave me a different way to do it.

“That’s sort of the — you know, you could tell someone five different things and like for the same feel — like to a piece of a swing, but sometimes none of them resonated, sometimes all of them, sometimes one thing.

“It’s just one of those things over the past few months that nothing was resonating with me. He gave me a tiny little something that I went with and, as I said, it’s felt a little better over the last two weeks and felt pretty good out there.”

McIlroy carded three birdies and no bogeys in what would typically be called a stress free or boring round of golf which is just the tonic he needs ahead of a trip to Augusta next week.

“Discipline, not being tempted to do too much, sticking to your game plan. Ben Crenshaw said a good thing to me a few years ago, he just said high lines, just keep it high, just high lines, read more into putts than you think.

“But yeah, I think it’s more, you know, if you think about it, if someone said you go to Augusta and I want you to shoot even par for four days, you would think that’s pretty easy to do, and as you’re trying to shoot even par you’re probably going to back into a couple scores in the 60s and you’re actually going to do well.

“But if someone says I want you to go out and shoot 67 at Augusta, it’s very easy to shoot 75 or 76 because you start to chase pins, you start to miss it in the wrong spots, you start to not be patient and play the disciplined golf that you need to.

“Good golf at Augusta feels lake boring golf and I think that’s something that I’ve always struggled with because that’s not my game. To me it’s the biggest test of discipline and the biggest test of patience of the year for me.”

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