The clubs Rory McIlroy used to win the 2022 Tour Championship
It seemed almost impossible. Six shots behind World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler heading into the final round of the Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy was facing more than an uphill climb. But a solid final round that included some stunning and timely moments combined with Scheffler miscues to hand McIlroy the tournament, the FedEx Cup and the $18 million first-place bonus.
Of course, McIlroy rarely does anything easy and Sunday at East Lake Golf Club was not exception to that. McIlroy was 10 shots behind Scheffler after opening the tournament with a triple bogey-bogey start before he started digging out. Still, even after a third-round 63 it appeared he would need that or lower the way Scheffler was playing on a course that lacked teeth much of the week due to soft conditions.
Scheffler, however, opened with three bogeys in the first six holes. That combined with McIlroy going three under over the first seven holes knotted things. From there Scheffler would regain the lead only to have McIlroy knot it again before a bogey at the 14th left him a stroke in arrears. A 31-foot birdie bomb at the par-3 15th tied things up again, before a reversal of fortune at 16. With Scheffler in the sand but with a fairly easy bunker shot, McIlroy airmailed the green by more than 20 yards but hit the stick with his pitch. When Scheffler failed to get up and down, McIlroy rolled in his seven-footer for par to take the lead, marking the first time all week Scheffler didn’t have it. McIlroy took care of business from there.
Those well-timed strokes were not the only ones he made during the week. In fact, McIlroy, who has struggled with his putting at times in his career has been better with the flat stick in 2021-22. That continued at East Lake where he was second in strokes gained/putting, gaining more than six shots on the field with his TaylorMade Spider X mallet. He also led the field in putts per green in regulation.
His TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver—at 9 degrees with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6x shaft—also was a valuable weapon as McIlroy led the field in driving distance at a mammoth 334 yards. Such a total seemed almost impossible. But for McIlroy, impossible was merely a hurdle to overcome in winning the FedEx Cup.
Stealth Plus/Stealth/Stealth HD
WHAT IT DOES: TaylorMade engineers believe carbon composite’s lightweight benefits should not be limited to the body. Why not use the material for the face—the heaviest part of the clubhead? The Stealth’s composite face is 40 percent lighter than a titanium face yet 20 percent larger than TaylorMade driver faces from just two years ago. The saved weight is redistributed in three distinct ways: a heel-weighted draw version; a low-spin model with a sliding weight; and a rear-weighted, high-forgiveness version.
What Rory McIlroy had in the bag at the 2022 Tour Championship
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (Fujikura Ventus Black 6x), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus, 19 degrees
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (54, 58 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast