Swing setup being altered by McIlroy

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LONDON — Rory McIlroy is confident the changes he’s made to his swing will work in time for the Masters Tournament in April.

Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland reacts on the 18th hole after he finished the third round of Dubai Desert Classic.  KAMRAN JEBREILI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KAMRAN JEBREILI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland reacts on the 18th hole after he finished the third round of Dubai Desert Classic.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman has been working with longtime coach Michael Bannon on improving his swing setup.

“I still feel it’s going to take a couple more weeks to fully click in,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “But it’s definitely on the right track.”

McIlroy leaves for the United States on Monday to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship, which starts Wednesday. The Masters begins April 5.

McIlroy opened his season by finishing second in Abu Dhabi and fifth in Dubai last week, when he revealed he’d been working on a “few fundamentals” in his swing.

“Posture was one of the key things, and just a little bit of swing plane,” McIlroy said. “I was setting the club a little steep on the way back, so the club was getting a little bit across the line at the top.

“So Michael and I have been working on me getting more feel, and getting the club pointed a little more left at the top so it’s on the right plane. That’s basically it.”

He added: “I should be well and truly ready for Augusta.”

EUROPEAN TOUR: In New Delhi, Alejandro Canizares, of Spain, and Peter Whiteford, of Scotland, each shot 6-under-par 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Avantha Masters.

• John Daly says he might have torn ligaments in his right elbow during the first round of the tournament.

He said on Twitter that his “elbow snapped” when he played a shot Thursday on the ninth hole. He finished with 79.

Daly posted a photo on Twitter with his right arm in a cast, saying “no bones are broken, possible torn ligaments according to European Tour Docs – getting home for X-rays!”

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Bogota, Colombia, Peter Lonard, Brian Smock and Billy Horschel each shot 5-under-par 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Colombia Championship.

LPGA TOUR: In Pattaya, Thailand, Ai Miyazato shot 5-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Thailand.

NOT READY: Injured Paul Casey will not return for the Match Play championship.

His spot in the 64-man field next week in Arizona will be taken by George Coetzee.

Casey injured his shoulder while snowboarding over the holidays.

DECLINED: Former top-ranked golfer Annika Sorenstam says she’s turned down the chance to be captain for Europe in the 2013 Solheim Cup against the United States.

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