Rory McIlroy makes major equipment change in bid to end major drought at Masters
While McIlroy has enjoyed more than his fair share of success in recent years and even returned to the top of the world rankings recently for his ninth spell as world number one, his ongoing major drought has continued unabated.
The 33-year-old has now gone nine years without adding to his tally of four majors, and while he seldom shows it, his frustration at not being able to get over the line in golf's big four has to be growing. As much as McIlroy would dearly love to add any major championship trophy to his cabinet in 2023, the Masters remains the ultimate prize, one that would see him complete golf's Grand Slam. To that end, the Northern Irishman has made a fairly drastic change with the first major championship of the year looming at Augusta. On Tuesday, McIlroy was spotted at Austin Country Club, site of this week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, carrying a Scotty Cameron by Titleist putter. The blade is a close replica of the Studio Select Newport GSS he used to win his first two majors at the 2011 US Open at Congressional and the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah.
For McIlroy to switch to the new short stick is quite a surprise, considering he holds a £16 million per-year sponsorship deal with a rival golf manufacturer, Taylormade.
Golf.com reporter Jonathan Wall said on Twitter that McIlroy admitted he was trying to "rekindle an on old flame" when asked about the putter.
McIlroy has been struggling with his TaylorMade Spider X on the greens this season, ranking 173rd in strokes gained/putting, and is clearly looking for a change in fortunes.
Confirmed: Rory McIlroy's Scotty Cameron Newport GSS is a new putter — not one he's used in the past. (The 👍 stamp is now on Rory, JT and Scottie's putters, if you're into that sort of minutiae.)
Told myself and @AndrewTursky that he's trying to "rekindle an old flame." pic.twitter.com/z6zXQwD2jh
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) March 21, 2023
Golf Channel's Todd Lewis said McIlroy told him he used the putter during two days of practice at Augusta National last week. "I loved it on the greens of Augusta National," Lewis quoted McIlroy as saying. "It allows him to be more athletic and gives him more freedom." Only time will tell if the change in short stick will do the trick for McIlroy in 2023. The Masters tees off on Thursday, April 6, at Augusta National Golf Club.
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