Rory McIlroy might not have even made it to the final of -- let alone win -- the WGC-Cadillac Match Play if not for his Nike Method 006 putter. The four-time major champion used the club to hole a 44-foot eagle putt that dispatched Jim Furyk in the semis before using it to hole putts that assisted in a five-birdie-in-10-holes stretch to begin the final against Gary Woodland.
McIlroy didn't become comfortable with his putter until about six months after he joined Nike in 2013. "The first time with the Method technology it rolled really quickly off the face and that was something I wasn't used to because I'd never use a putter with grooves before," McIlroy told Golf Digest later that year. "So it kind of came off 'hot' for me. I would hit a good putt and it would go three or four feet by because the roll was so good. So we needed to work together to make it a little softer and closer to what I was used to. I've always had a little extra loft on my putter because I forward press, and we made the grooves a little less aggressive. But then we milled the face a little bit to make it softer and soften that edge where the groove catches the ball. The grooves still have an effect but it's not as aggressive as it was."
Given the results of the past 12 months or so, it seems they got it just right.
Ball: Nike RZN Black
Driver: Nike Vapor Pro (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board S+ 70), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Nike Vapor Speed, 15 degrees
5-wood: Nike Vapor Speed, 19 degrees
Irons (4-9): Nike VR Pro Blade; (PW) Nike VR Forged
Wedges: Nike VR Forged (52, 56 degrees); Nike Engage (59 degrees)
Putter: Nike Method 006