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Rory McIlroy benefiting without green book after work on setup with Brad Faxon

ORLANDO, Fla. – When the ban on green-reading books began this year, there was speculation that some players who had become dependent on the added information, like Bryson DeChambeau, would struggle.

However, there was little thought that the ban would help others.

“I’ve actually really enjoyed not having a green book. I feel like it’s got me more into the putts,” said McIlroy following his opening round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I’m not consulting a green book. Honestly, I feel like it’s benefited me these last few weeks.”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

McIlroy opened with a 7-under 65 for an early three-shot lead thanks to his play on Bay Hill’s greens. He ranked 13th in strokes gained: putting following his round and one-putted four consecutive holes just before the turn to move into contention.

The Northern Irishman said he adjusted his setup earlier this year after working with Brad Faxon, who has become one of the Tour’s go-to putting coaches.

“I was putting with Fax before going to the Middle East, and I just felt like I started to creep a little too far away from the ball,” McIlroy said. “My eye line was a little too far inside, and what happens then is my right arm leaves my side. … Just setting up like that and having that constant is important for me.”