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Paul McGinley explains how Rory McIlroy's likely to tackle Pebble Beach

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

07:04 11 Jun 2019


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Paul McGinley believes some of the fundamentals of Rory McIlroy's game have gone to another level.

The Northern Irishman won the Canadian Open by a vast seven strokes at the weekend. His final round was brilliant, notching a 61.

McGinley was impressed by the way McIlroy took the tournament by storm.

"He went out and he won the tournament and he grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and he rolled off into the sunset," he said.

"It's a while since we'd seen that and it was refreshing and good to see. People within the game, me included, you hear us saying all the time, and people are probably fed up saying it but McIlroy's got another gear that others don't have.

"And that's exactly what we mean. He's got that ability to win by six or seven that not a lot of other players do. Tiger, he won a few times, by quite big margins. But you take the Dustin Johnsons and those kind of guys, they don't seem to win by six or seven shots."

Next up for McIlroy and the world's leading golfers is the next major of the year: The US Open at Pebble Beach.

But how is the former World No 1 likely to fare at the course? Wedge play and putting will be crucial and they are areas McIlroy has made strides in.

"I see a huge improvement in his performance level this year. Not just in terms of his results but in his performance throughout the bag," said McGinley.

Different Approach For Rory McIlroy

"His wedge play has had a lot of criticism over the years. Last year his distance control was nowhere near where it needed to be. Since this introduction of Brad Faxon, he's got a different approach to the game. He's looked at what's important in terms of scoring. His putting has gone to another level. He putted unbelievably last week. His wedge play, his chipping, these things have all really gone to another level. It's not often now that you see him hit a bad wedge shot. In fact, he hits a number of very good wedge shots."

McGinley also touched on the challenges that the Pebble Beach course poses.

"This is not a wide open golf course that's going to really benefit bringing it to its knees and ripping it off the tee and overpowering it like he did in Canada last week," he said.

"This is a very different skill-set round here. It's going to require something very different. Probably with his length, you might only see him four or five drivers. The fairways are incredibly narrow and because the fairways are so small and slopey, you'll nearly need to have control of the ball going into these greens. You can only do that from the fairway. So you will probably see him play more conservatively than he did last week. It's not normally the style of golf that he seems to revel in."

You can watch McGinley's full analysis of Rory McIlroy and Pebble Beach on YouTube.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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Golf Off The Ball Paul McGinley Rory McIlroy Sport Tiger Woods US Open

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