Rory McIlroy … Dave Stockton Now More An Adviser Than An Instructor To Holywood Blockbuster Golfer.

Short-game specialist Dave Stockton believes he’s become more of an adviser rather than an instructor to triple Major winning Rory McIlroy.

Stockton has been working in liaison with McIlroy’s long-time coach, Michael Bannon since shortly after McIlroy’s 2011 Masters melt down.

And the input of the now 72-year old Stockton reaped immediate dividends with McIlroy rebounding to capture the US Open by eight shots and at Congressional in suburban Maryland where Stockton won the PGA Championship 35-years earlier.

Stockton was on hand at Kiawah Island in 2012, and where he had led the USA Ryder Cup team to success in the famed ‘War On The Shore’, to witness McIlroy capture a second Major Championship.

Dave Stockton oversees Rory McIlroy's putting on a dismal day at Augusta.

Dave Stockton oversees Rory McIlroy’s putting on a dismal day at Augusta.

However Stockton was enjoying a family holiday with this grandchildren on Victoria Island, just off the coast from Vancouver, when McIlroy claimed golf’s oldest Major by two strokes just over a fortnight ago.

“It was really fun to watch Rory win and I was really proud of him,” said Stockton.

“He showed that mental toughness, and I’ve always been a firm believer, and I know everybody says some player’s swings are better than others, but I just thought that Rory’s mental toughness and his preparation was just outstanding.

“Also there is no surprise and people keep asking me what have I been saying to Rory, and really I haven’t been saying anything about his stroke since before the Masters.

“Rory’s got even better because I was saying to him in Akron that I don’t think I am instructor and it’s now almost like I’m an advisor to him.

“Now you’re seeing a lot of good shots but in my opinion you are witnessing great mental toughness and I like that.”

Stockton also threw light on the origin of the two ‘trigger’ words, process and spot, that McIlroy kept at the forefront of his mind for all four days at Royal Liverpool.

The words should not have come as a surprise despite a one Pound sweep among 70 members of Royal Liverpool media who failed to pick even one, and with two colleagues choosing ‘Caroline’ and ‘Wozniacki’.

“The only word I’ve used with Rory is ‘spot’ and in regards to his putting and my guess it was Michael (Bannon) who is responsible for the word ‘process’,” said Stockton.

“Actually, I was listening and sitting there watching the TV and I didn’t know the two words he was talking about, and certainly not to he mentioned them after winning at Hoylake.

“Some would say halfway and others would pick the apex of the break or a foot out from the hole but literally it’s an inch or two inches and all that means that when you come back from the hole you don’t go back to the ball and rather you’re stopping in front of it.

“And so consequently Rory comes back to that spot and as soon as he gets there, he starts the putter and watches the ball roll over the spot, so there’s no thinking involved.”

And while Stockton believes McIlroy can win later this week in Louisville, the American has no doubts he can become next April only the sixth player in the history of the game to win all four Majors.

“Rory’s got the toughest Majors out of the way and Augusta National now plays right into his hands because when you go to a US Open who could ask how do you prepare for a US Open or an Open Championship?

“But when it comes to the Masters Rory has the game for Augusta and there’s no doubt in my mind he could go to Augusta next April as a four-time Major winner as Valhalla should suit his game down to the ground, too.”

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