Winner’s bag: Rory McIlroy’s TaylorMade equipment at the Tour Championship
Rory McIlroy capped off one of the most dominant seasons of his career with the biggest payday in the history of professional golf at the Tour Championship. McIlrory’s strong play off the tee put him in position to win $15 million in Atlanta, but when his driver started to go sideways late on Sunday, the putter came to the rescue to put the tournament away.
The putter has always been the most confounding part of McIlroy’s game. Even with he’s managed to drive it on a string, a cold putter has kept him from finding the winner’s circle. Coming off a season where he ranked 159th in strokes gained: putting, McIlroy chose to give TaylorMade’s Spider X putter a shot at the beginning of the season.
“One of the things at the end of the year I was struggling with a little bit was just alignment,” McIlroy said. “And with the Spider I just feel like I aim it a little bit better, so that’s the reason for [the change].”
Wielding the new mallet, McIlroy found his stroke on the greens, jumping all the way to 25th in the strokes gained category in 2019. McIlroy attributed much of his success with the putter to the white “True Path” system, along with a single black sightline, that was added to improve focus while increasing the potential for more putts to catch the center of the face.
“To see that path very clearly from the ball to the hole, and back again, and just to have that extension of the line back on top the putter with the white — it just gives you such a great visual,” he said.
His prosperity with the putter was on display when he needed it most during the final round. Coming off back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15, McIlroy kept the slide from continuing with a critical 8-foot par putt on 15. He then followed it with a 15-foot birdie on 16 to keep the field at bay.
Along with changing putters this season, McIlroy switched from TaylorMade’s TP5x golf ball to the TP5 after watching two of his biggest competitors have success with other balls that offered more spin and control with the short irons.
“I felt like a little lower launch and higher spin with my wedges and short irons could be a benefit,” he said. “I remember playing with Tiger and [Justin Thomas] during last year’s PGA Championship and watching them flight their short irons and wedges. … I’ve had better distance control and improved wedge play since I switched.”
Here’s a look at McIlroy’s entire TaylorMade setup:
Driver: TaylorMade M5 (Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Pro White 80TX shaft), 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M5 (Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Pro White 90TX shaft), 19 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-iron; True Temper Project X 7.0 shaft), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW; True Temper Project X 7.0 shafts)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 and 60 degrees; True Temper Project X 6.5 shafts)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord