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Bernard Gallacher: Rory McIlroy’s eyes will be firmly fixed on toppling Jordan Speith

Rory McIlroy had laser eye surgery (Rory McIlroy/Twitter)
Rory McIlroy had laser eye surgery (Rory McIlroy/Twitter)

Golfers will look for any advantage that can improve their game, and Rory will have discussed the benefits of this procedure.

Rory has been wearing glasses or contact lenses since he was a young lad so he’ll obviously have been well used to them, but that inconvenience has now been taken away.

The natural conclusion is that he must feel it will help him on the greens, which is the one slight weakness in his game.

A quick look at the statistics tells you that. He was 132nd in putts per round on the European Tour in 2015 at 29.9 – yet he still won the Race to Dubai.

That tells you his golf from tee to green is on another planet to the rest of the players. And when he putts well, he can win Majors by eight strokes.

But the key factor is that current World No. 1 Jordan Spieth has had a year where he averaged 27.8 putts per round. His putting has been on a level we’ve never seen before – truly exceptional.

That’s a difference of over two shots per day, which over the course of the tournament gives Spieth a big head start.

Rory doesn’t need to putt amazingly to shoot a good round because his long game is so good, but any slight improvement on the greens and he’ll overhaul Spieth at the top of the world rankings.

However, he must not get too depressed about the stats. It’s simply about holing one or two more putts at the right time.

Some may feel that, at 26, Rory is a bit young to be having this type of surgery, but if he notices an improvement in his putting, he’ll be delighted and wonder why he didn’t have it sooner.

I’m sure he will have decided on this in the summer when he was stuck at home with his ankle injury and he was evaluating every part of his game.

He now has a few weeks in which to recover and readjust before he begins his 2016 season against Spieth in Abu Dhabi.

Many other golfers have had laser eye surgery with Tom Kite and Padraig Harrington amongst the most notable.

I used to consider myself a good putter, but I started to deteriorate when I hit 40. I didn’t see the ball or the lines as clearly and I’m certain it was my eyesight.

I thought about having this type of surgery, but it would not have been quite so straightforward for me.

It has also been a busy time for Rory with the news that he has got engaged to his American girlfriend, Erica Stoll.

Jack Nicklaus has often admitted that having a settled family life with wife Barbara and the children was a big reason behind his success.

Golf can be a lonely sport at times, so having the support of your wife or fiancée does make a huge difference.