McIlroy turns to Dr Bob for help

Rory McIlroy will begin work with Padraig Harrington’s shrink Dr Bob Rotella at next month’s Honda Classic.

The frustrated Ulster ace, 20, has just one tour win and admits he’s desperate to become a serial winner.

Knocked out by Ollie Wilson at the 20th in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Tucson, McIlroy said: “I’ll probably start working with Bob on Sunday, Monday at Honda. I haven’t spoken to him but [my manager] Chubby [Chandler] has.

“I’ve not spoken to him personally about this, though I have met him and have read all his books. I just think it definitely can’t hurt.”

McIlroy’s putting is his weakest point but he said that he will be looking to Rotella to help him get the most out of his game in every department, especially when it comes to closing out.

“It’s the overall game, not just the putting, and what to think when you get within a couple of the lead,” he said. “As I said, the main objective is to turn these top threes and fives that I’ve had into wins. To get to that next level where I can win more often.”

As for his exit in Tucson, McIlroy confessed that he had his chances but probably didn’t deserve to win after making just one birdie in his clash with Wilson.

“I hit a great putt on the first extra hole, I don’t know how that didn’t go in,” he said. “So I had my chances. I didn’t take my chances so I didn’t deserve to win.

“I didn’t take advantage of my length on the par fives.  That’s the best I’ve driven it all year. Even my second shots were good but it’s so hard to get it close to the hole.

“I didn’t get off to the best of starts both days. But, on the bright side, I’ll be back home to Belfast on Friday afternoon and off the Ravenhill on Friday night.  I’ve a week and a half at home and I intend to enjoy myself.”

Still taking painkillers for his niggling back injury, he added: “It’s just something I’m going to have to manage. It got better and better ever day this week.”

Returning to his putting, McIlroy denied that it was a problem of confidence.

He said: “It’s not even that. I think it’s the decisiveness as well. You’ve got to look at your target and make the best stroke possible. That’s the best you can do. I was quite pleased I holed that putt on 18. You know, I hit great putts, on 18, the first extra hole and even the putt that didn’t go in at the second. When you are hitting putts, starting it on the line you want it and with good pace that’s all you can do.”