McIlroy returns to form at Doral

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy missed the cut at last week’s Honda Classic

Rory McIlroy hailed a “big improvement” in his putting during a superb round of 65 that lifted him into contention in the Cadillac Championship at Doral.

The Northern Irishman has switched to a “crosshanded” putting method after missing the cut at the Honda Classic.

The 26-year-old needed just 25 putts in a seven-under round to go eight under – two shots behind leader Adam Scott.

“I did some work on the putting green last night and it paid off today,” said world number three McIlroy.

“I saw Adam had got to 10 under so I did not want to be too far behind going into the weekend. It’s great to see putts like that go in. Those are the putts I have not been holing over the last few months.

“When you see putts go in you do get confidence from that. As the days go by the more comfortable this will become and the more I can think about feel and picking the right line instead of where my hands are on the grip.

“Today I saw a big improvement so I’m very happy.”

McIlroy carded eight birdies and a bogey in his second round and is tied for second with defending champion Dustin Johnson who hit a bogey-free 64.

Scott, who last week won his first title in nearly two years, hit a six-under 66 to lead the field.

England’s Danny Willett carded a 69 to go fourth on seven under, a stroke ahead of Charley Hoffman (70) and Bubba Watson (69) of the United States and two in front of compatriot Paul Casey (68) and another American, Phil Mickelson (72).

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