Gear Effect

Rory McIlroy pulls a boss move after chunking a bunch of chip shots at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude


Andy Lyons

The gnarly Bermuda rough surrounding the greens at TPC Southwind gives tour players fits every year at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Rory McIlroy had a tough time adjusting on Thursday.

The four-time major champion lost a field-worst 3.08 strokes around the greens on Thursday, according to datagolf, chunking two chip shots and duffing a few others short while posting a two-over 72. McIlroy determined the struggles were equipment-based, so he pulled a move any golfer with means might consider—ordering the right club to be delivered overnight to the course.

“I got here with a lob wedge with a sole that just completely was no good in Bermuda,” McIlroy said after his round Saturday. “I chunked a few chips on Thursday and I just was like, ‘I'm usually a pretty good chipper of the ball.’ I just went back to a sole that I've used before, especially that I've done well with in Bermuda conditions, and it's been a little better around the greens the last couple days.”

The move seemed to work, as’s Cameron Morfit pointed out, McIlroy got up and down around the greens seven times in nine attempts on Friday and Saturday.

Consider that McIlroy has gone from Torrey Pines and playing its unique Kikuyu grass to Europe for the Irish Open, Scottish Open and Open Championship and those tight lies before heading to the Olympics last week. All of those grass types are very different than the 419 Bermudagrass used at many courses in the south.

McIlroy shot back-to-back four-under 66s on Friday and Saturday at TPC Southwind, leaving himself too far back to threaten to win—but at least he knows he has the right equipment combination for the next time he’s back chipping out of this thick Bermuda.

Imagine you were halfway through a member-guest tournament and could just overnight a club in your ideal specs to the course? It's nice to be a tour pro.