McGinley takes new stance on putting

From Brian Keogh in Dubai

Paul McGinley is banking on a new putting style to get him back on the road to victory.

The Dubliner, 41, hasn't lifted a trophy since he grabbed the Volvo Masters in 2005.

But after working with putting doctor Paul Hurrion - the man who helped Padraig Harrington win the Open - he's decided to change his approach on the greens in search of a victory that will catapult him back up the world rankings.

Ranked 18th in the world after his Valderrama win, the Dubliner is 189th now and frustrated by his slide down the pecking order.

He said: "I'm hitting lots of fairways and greens and if I can putt a bit better, I am going to win.

"I am not hitting the putts the way I want. But I am working on that with Paul Hurrion. I am changing my putting style and the way I read greens.

"I am working less on instinct and feel and working more on getting better fundamentals. Better basics. It is all about consistency."

McGinley gabbed his first top 10 on the European Tour for over 18 months with a ninth place finish in his first start in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago.

But he was bitterly disappointed to miss the cut in Qatar last week and hopes to get back on the track in the final desert swing event.

He said: "One hole killed me last week. Again I hit a high percentage of greens in regulation but this game is about putting a score on the board and I didn't do it last week. That's the bottom line.

"I feel I am on the right track and I just have to keep working away. It is not as if all of a sudden I have lost my game or totally can't play. But I certainly have lost my knack of getting big finishes so it was nice to have a top 10 at the start of the year."

Competition is tougher than ever with dozens of big-hitting young guns on tour.

But McGInley has vowed to play to his strengths and leave the caveman style golf to the new kids on the block.

He said: "I'm working harder on my fitness that's not because of Tiger. It has more to do with the fact that I am getting old and trying to compete with these young kids nowadays.

"I've got to score and I've got to pitch and putt better. I am not looking for more power. I am never going to overpower a golf course and that's not what I am looking for.

"In Abu Dhabi I finished ninth with only three bogeys all week. I led the greens in regulation and that's along the lines of what I have to do if I am to compete. Hit lots of fairways and hit lots of greens.

"The standard is so high on tour that you have to be pretty hot to win a big cheque. And big cheques are what give you the Order of Merit and world ranking positions you want.

"I didn't have any of those last year and that's why I slowly fell down the rankings. Hopefully that trend has bottomed out."