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Did Rory McIlroy add a 64-degree wedge in Austin with the Masters in mind?

April 02, 2019

Rory McIlroy had an interesting approach to tackling Austin Country Club during the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The long-hitting 29-year-old focused on the short end of his bag, adding a 64-degree TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge to go along with two other Hi-Toe wedges in his bag. With the Match Play being his last event before the Masters, McIlroy’s move came in a week in which some other minor tweaks were made by other big-name players such as Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau—and down in Puntacana, we take a look at Tony Romo's equipment of choice.

Ezra Shaw

Although some might feel a 64-degree wedge is a gimmick, with the unusual contours around the greens at Austin Country Club, Rory McIlroy sought some extra height on some shots around the greens. We'll see if he uses the 64-degree at Augusta National, as well. Last year, his highest-lofted wedge in his bag was a 60-degree—but last week, his wedge construction was different than his make-up

TaylorMade’s Hi-Toe is a design that drew inspiration from some of the company’s tour staff (such as Dustin Johnson). It also features a raised upper corner toe reminiscent of several higher-lofted specialty models introduced in recent years, all in some way inspired by the Ping Eye2 L-wedge, first introduced in the mid-1980s.

Warren Little

Phil Mickelson has used a #9 mid-mallet Odyssey putter for a number of years, most recently a Versa model. At the WGC-Match Play, however, Lefty changed to an Odyssey #9 with the company’s latest putter technology, its Stroke Lab shaft. The shaft features a graphite shaft that morphs to a steel portion near the head. The idea being to redistribute weight in a way that improves the stroke while making the head more stable.

Sam Greenwood

OK, Bryson DeChambeau needs to make up his mind. Well, perhaps not, but DeChambeau has been on a roll lately, changing back and forth between Bridgestone’s Tour B X ball and spinnier Tour B XS sphere. In Austin, DeChambeau was back with the latter on a course where controlling the ball into and around the greens was paramount. “I knew there were a lot of wedge opportunities on the back,” DeChambeau said after his opening match. “I didn't hit too many close, but hit it when I needed to close.”

Mike Ehrmann

When Tony Romo played at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, he tried out TaylorMade’s M5 driver (a logical choice considering he was gaming an M3 driver at the time). At the Puntacana Corales Resort & Club Championship, Romo went with the M5 with a Fujikura Ventus 7X shaft. The driver Romo tried at Pebble had the movable weights in front and the rear toe, but in Puntacana were positioned in the rear track with one all the way in the heel and the other slight toward the toe.