How an equipment change helped Rory McIlroy win the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open
It looked like another disappointing Sunday for Rory McIlroy. Trailing by one after Robert MacIntyre’s stunning birdie at the last at the Genesis Scottish Open, McIlroy failed to birdie the par-5 16th, leaving just the difficult par-3 17th and the challenging par-4 18th, which was playing into the teeth of a 25-mile-per-hour wind. Not exactly birdie holes.
McIlroy, however, turned them into ones. A driving 5-iron at 17 stopped inside five feet, leading to the tying birdie. Then, with 202 yards into the 18th, McIlroy switched from a 4-iron to a 2-iron he just put in the bag for the week and proceeded to hit a laser that finished 11 feet from the cup. McIlroy made the putt to produce his first back-to-back birdies of the week and grab the win. The 2-iron McIlroy added is TaylorMade’s P•760 bent to 17 degrees with a Project X HZRDUS Black 6.5 graphite shaft.
McIlroy’s driver and putter worked all week, too. For the week McIlroy led the field in driving distance at 331.9 yards as well as topping the field in strokes gained/off-the-tee at 5.927 shots with his 9-degree TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver with a Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6x shaft.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 / Stealth 2 Plus / Stealth 2 HD
WHAT IT DOES: The carbon-composite technology of last year’s groundbreaking drivers has received an upgrade. The amount of titanium has been reduced to just a thin frame around the carbon-composite face. This means more forgiveness and even lower spin. Last year’s breakout carbon-composite face is now variably thick for more flexing across a wider area.
WHY WE LIKE IT: A carbon-composite face isn’t magic, but its extraordinary weight-savings better delivers the mass of the clubhead into the ball. It also weighs about half of a titanium face, and the lighter the face the more effective the trampoline. The head improves stability by balancing more mass front and back. Read more >>>
On the greens, McIlroy was one of the best on Sunday, gaining two strokes on the field Sunday with his TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast mallet putter. Among the highlights besides his final two putts was a 37-footer at the par-3 14th, putting him in position for his closing theatrics.
What Rory McIlroy had in the bag at the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6x), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus, 15 degrees
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast
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