Certainly Rory McIlroy's recent form is reason to consider him a potential contender at the U.S. Open. But given the tricky short-game shots that will be needed at Pinehurst No. 2, a recent equipment change might be an intangible that makes the Northern Irishman a favorite in a few weeks.
Before his win at last week's BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy put a 59-degree Nike VR X3X Toe Sweep wedge into play. McIlroy told GolfDigest.com on Monday that the club's design helps hit slide through the rough more easily, which at any other U.S. Open would be of great advantage. However, the course setup at Pinehurst will be notable for its lack of rough.
Still, having a club that can easily slide under the ball and hold on Pinehurst's fabled crowned greens could prove invaluable in his major quest
Our equipment editor, Mike Johnson, elaborated more on the switch Wednesday morning during his appearance on Golf Channel's Morning Drive.