PGA TOUR 2021 - Waste Management Phoenix Open - McIlroy's Final Round
This was the first year that Rory McIlroy competed in the Phoenix Open. He found the greens, in particular, difficult to read.
From Bernie McGuire:
McIlroy dropped a shot early on day four but then brilliantly put together a run of seven birdies in nine holes from his fifth to 13th holes.
He dropped a shot at his 14th and closed off with birdies at his 15th and 17th holes before a closing par.
“I had two very pedestrian rounds and played a little better on Friday and then I played better today. I putted better. I really struggled on these greens to read them more than anything else.
“And today I just sort of went a little bit more — with greens that I haven’t seen before, I’ll use the green book a bit, and I did that for three days and didn’t really work, so I just sort of went with my eyes and my gut today and it helped.
“So, yes I sort of maybe trusted it a little better and holed some putts, which was nice”. Read more here.
From Gareth Hanna:
Rory McIlroy revealed that a return to an old putting strategy was to thank for his sparkling round with the flat-stick on Sunday.
[He] remains sixth in the world after a tied 13th place finish at the PGA Tour's Phoenix Open, took just 23 putts in his seven under par final round 64 - a low for the entire field across the week and personally for the season so far.
It was a round that included nine birdies, largely thanks to that putting display, which was a huge improvement on the rest of the tournament, having taken 27 putts, 29 and 31 respectively in the first three rounds.
Of course, that can also hint at an improvement in approach play - and that was also true - but with 95 feet worth of putts made on Sunday, including three birdie attempts outside 10 feet, it was an unquestionable upturn in performance on the greens.
It was inspired, McIlroy explained, on the practice ground at TPC Scottsdale, where he decided to give the greens book a rest. Read more here.