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Rory McIlroy switches to cross-handed putting grip

DORAL, Fla. -- After a missed cut at last week's Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy is trying to get a grip.

A putting grip, that is.

During a Wednesday news conference in advance of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, McIlroy revealed that he will be employing a left-hand-low grip on his putting stroke in competition for the first time since his initial professional season of 2008.

"Practiced over the weekend just with left below right and it felt really, really good," said McIlroy, who currently ranks 189th in the PGA Tour's strokes gained putting statistic. "I'm going to give it a try this week and see where we go with it. But it felt really, really good. Roll of the ball is really good. The contact is much better, and it really just takes my right hand out of it."

McIlroy explained that the new stroke came about as part of a putting drill that he regularly does.

It was during this drill that he decided to use the stroke in tournament play -- and don't expect him to switch back to his previous standard method any time soon.

"I feel like it's something I'm going to stick with regardless of what the outcome is [Thursday] or this week or next week," he said. "I really do feel like it helps me put a stroke on it that I want to. It's a great feeling. I feel like it gives my putting stroke a bit more of a better rhythm, as well, a better flow.

"If it doesn't work right from the get-go [Thursday], you're not going to see me on Friday morning putting conventional again. It's something I'm going to stick with for a while."

McIlroy will tee off in the opening round of this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at 11:32 a.m. Thursday alongside Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.