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So much for him struggling with his driver.
Rory McIlroy used his big dog to devastating effect just when it mattered most at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, hitting potentially the shot of the year in the process.
The world No.3 was one-up on American Denny McCarthy as the players reached the 375-yard final hole of their second group match at Austin Country Club.
Needing a win to put himself in the box seat for the knockout stages, McIlroy caught his drive out of the screws, the ball eventually coming to rest three feet from the flag.
That gave him a walk-off eagle to finally see off a spirited challenge from McCarthy.
It’s hard to put into words just how good a shot it was so why don’t you just watch it for yourself…
Walk-off tee shot from Rory. Fairly decent 👀👏🏼pic.twitter.com/zDhVI1fZjQ
— bunkered (@BunkeredOnline) March 24, 2023
Almost immediately, social media lit up with golf fans branding it the shot of the year.
Sky Sports Golf commentator Ewen Murray was amongst those left in awe of it.
We see many great shots across a season of golf, but Rory McIlroy’s drive at 18 in Austin was out of this world. A phenomenal talent, an outstanding moment enjoyed by everyone who was privileged to witness it. Sensational. The Dell match play continues on Friday.👌
— Ewen Murray (@ewenmurray77) March 24, 2023
Speaking to reporters afterwards, McIlroy admitted he had no idea how good the shot was at first.
“I sort of got a hundred yards up the fairway, and Smylie [Kaufman] was out commentating on the group, and he said, ‘Dude, you just flew that on green’. And I was like, ‘Oh, okay’.”
It capped an impressive display with the driver for the Irishman who made headlines at The PLAYERS Championship when he was extremely critical of his equipment.
That, he says, is water under the bridge now.
“I took it out of the box on Friday last week and the first two shots with it I was like, here we go. That’s what it should be. When you’re trying to fit clubs, I don’t think there should be too much fiddling about with it. It was like first two shots out of the box and it was like, yeah, I think I’ve got one here.
“So it’s nice to sort of see that feeling translate into the same thing on the golf course.”
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