Rory McIlroy arrived at the WGC-Dell Match Play with a brand new putter and shortened driver shaft, and each look like working for the four-time main champion because the 2023 Masters shortly approaches.
In his opening group-stage match, the Northern Irishman defeated Scott Stallings, 3 and 1.
McIlroy, coming off a missed cut at the Players Championship, was noticed at Austin Nation Membership with a Scotty Cameron blade, moderately than the trusty TaylorMade Spider Hydro Blast mallet he’s used for the previous a number of seasons.
McIlroy has seen success with the same Scotty Cameron: He gained each the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship utilizing the blade mannequin. The putter he’s utilizing this week is new, however virtually a reproduction of his previous flatstick. In accordance with Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall, the mannequin is a Scotty Cameron Newport GSS, and McIlroy is attempting to “rekindle an previous flame” with the membership.
“It has a line on the highest simply on the highest line as a substitute of on the flange. So, yeah, it’s principally the identical,” McIlroy stated. Though the situation of the unique major-championship successful putter in presently unknown, McIlroy’s stated that his dad “has it someplace.”
McIlroy can be making an adjustment in his pre-shot routine on the greens, and a part of the motivation behind the putter change was to accommodate that course of. McIlroy has began utilizing the alignment help on his golf ball as soon as once more, and the road element on his new Scotty Cameron pairs properly with that technique.
“I simply assume what I’m attempting to do with lining the ball up, the road on the highest as a substitute of on the flange matches up slightly bit higher for me,” McIlroy stated after his first match in Austin.
Over the weekend, rumors circulated that McIlroy paid a go to to Augusta Nationwide and carded a spherical with simply 19 putts.
To the rumor, McIlory responded with a smile: “Yeah, look, I had two good days. We performed 54 holes in two days and it was good. I used to be actually pleased with the place my sport was.”
McIlroy’s different massive change comes on the reverse finish of his gear roster. After vocalizing current struggles together with his TaylorMade driver on the Gamers, McIlroy confirmed as much as the Match Play with a 44-inch shaft, which is half an inch shorter than his typical size. He additionally went with a softer shaft mannequin than what he was beforehand taking part in to extend spin.
In accordance with McIlroy, though the change is refined, it was made with Augusta Nationwide in thoughts.
“I wanted to go to a barely softer shaft and I can hit extra photographs with it and really feel a bit extra snug form of playability-wise,” he stated.
“I imply, clearly this a part of the season you have bought one eye on what you are doing now and one eye on Augusta. It is attempting to do each.”
Along with the driving force tweak and the brand new putter, McIlroy additionally had a brand new TaylorMade Stealth 5-wood and 54 diploma wedge within the bag on the Dell Match Play. We’ll discover out quickly if McIlroy’s new instruments make it into his bag at Augusta Nationwide.