• PGA Tour

McIlroy encouraged by swing improvements

ESPN staff
February 19, 2013

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy believes his swing is back to where he wants it to be, after a disappointing start to his 2013 season.

McIlroy, 23, missed the cut in his only appearance to date this year - at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January - and is hoping for an improved performance this week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona.

Some critics have suggested that McIlroy's erratic display in the Middle East was a result of his winter switch to Nike equipment, but the Northern Irishman has insisted his swing was to blame - but that he has now ironed out the flaws he was struggling with.

"I'm much happier with how I'm swinging the club," McIlroy said on Tuesday. "I've had a nice few weeks off and I feel like I'm coming into this event prepared, ready and swinging the club well.

"Hopefully that can translate into playing some good golf and getting quite far into this week."

McIlroy has tweaked his clubs slightly in the build-up to this week - most notably changing his putter and amending his driver - but insists they had no impact on his struggles in January.

"The clubs were performing fine in Abu Dhabi, it was just the fact that I wasn't swinging at my best," he insisted. "I feel like I've turned a corner with my swing. I've got it back on track, and that's ultimately what's going to help me play better."

Six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo said recently that McIlroy's switch to Nike was a "dangerous move" after enjoying such success with his old equipment, but McIlroy believes that, as he is a less technical player than the Englishman was, the criticism is unfair.

"Nick Faldo doesn't know how I feel over the golf shot and I don't know how he felt, but my guess is he was a little more analytically minded than I am," he said. "I try and keep things as simple as possible.

"If I see the ball going in the direction that I want in the flight that I want, then I'm happy. It feels good, and hopefully I can show that to everyone this week."

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