Rory in late gear switch


Grand Slam-chasing Rory McIlroy has made a late tweak to his bag just days before teeing off on Thursday morning.

McIlroy, who needs a green jacket to complete a clean sweep of majors, said the change was required as the ball he was playing, the Titleist Pro V1 – which he didn’t mention by name – was “too spinny”.

“I needed a couple of fairway woods that didn’t spin quite as much, and I needed a couple of fairways that I thought I could turn over easier,” said McIlroy.

“I brought quite a few clubs with me on the trip last week and those two seemed to be the ones that work the best for me. Practiced with them this week, or last week in Florida, and I feel comfortable with them. That's basically the reason. It’s just that they fit this golf course a little bit better than the other ones did.”

According to a report in The Guardian, Rory has dropped his Callaway Epic fairways in favour of TaylorMade’s M2 fairways. His bag now includes Callaway irons – new models for this week – Vokey wedges, an Odyssey putter, the Titleist Pro V1, a Callaway Epic driver and the TaylorMade M2 fairways.

He recently agreed an extension to his Nike contract for the next ten years, which is being reported as potentially being worth as much as $200m to the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy has perhaps had the best look at Augusta National in the lead-up to this week having admitted he’s played 99 holes in practice in two weeks. And he’s not ruling out hitting three digits should the weather hold up tomorrow.

“I’ve realised that the more I can get comfortable with this golf course, and the club as a whole, and the more I can get comfortable in the environment and the surroundings, the better. 

“So that’s why I came up here just before the Match Play and played 27 holes, and I came up Monday, Tuesday, and played 54 in that two‑day span. The more I can just play the golf course and almost make it seem like second nature to me, where to hit the balls on the green and where to start putts and know where the pin positions are, the more that can become second nature.”

Rory tees off in the third last group on Thursday morning in the company of Hideto Tanihara and Spanish rookie Jon Rahm at 1.41pm.

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