Rory McIlroy could not confirm or deny whether he had a sensational 19 putts during one of three practice rounds at Augusta National, home of The Masters that takes place in two weeks' time.
McIlroy, 33, played three rounds of 18 on the famous Georgia course last week.
One of those rounds was really special, according to reports on the ground.
There was a strong rumour that he took just 19 putts in one of his practice rounds, which is almost unheard of in the sport!
Following a disappointing missed cut at The Players Championship, where McIlroy lost three strokes to the field on the greens, the World No.3 decided to change things up.
Not only did he change the shaft in his TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Driver, but he also dropped his TaylorMade Spider and returned to his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport putter that he used to win the first two of his four major championships.
McIlroy is already seeing instant reward.
The Telegraph's James Corrigan posed the question of '19 putts at Augusta' to McIlroy ahead of this week's WGC Match Play.
Was it true?!
Wait, how many putts did Rory have in a practice round at Augusta National last week? pic.twitter.com/CanTVhw2qD— Golfweek (@golfweek) March 22, 2023
Armed with his 'old flame', McIlroy took that good form into his first-round match against Scott Stallings on Wednesday, winning comfortably 3&1.
He will now face Denny McCarthy on Thursday, before turning his attentions to Keegan Bradley on Friday.
McIlroy must win his group in order to progress to the knockout stage of the tournament, which starts on Saturday morning at Austin Country Club.
He's looking to win the WGC Match Play for a second time in his career, having previously won the tournament at TPC Harding Park back in 2015.
But whatever happens this week, McIlroy knows it's all about building confidence heading into the first major of the season, which begins on the hallowed Georgia turf in two weeks' time.
McIlroy can join an elusive group of players to complete the career grand slam with victory at The Masters on Sunday April 9.
Rory McIlroy is said to have taken 19 putts in one of his practice rounds at Augusta National last week!— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) March 23, 2023
Will Rory win The Masters and complete the career grand slam on Sunday April 9?
Should he slip on the famous green jacket for the first time in his career, he will join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the players to win all four majors in the modern era.
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