Honeymoon over for McIlroy as new chapter begins

Solenn Plantier
Mai 12, 2017

After a five-week layoff that saw him Wednesday American Erica Stoll in an Irish castle, soak up the sun on a Caribbean honeymoon and strike a new multi-million dollar equipment deal, Rory McIlroy is keen to start a new chapter in his life at the US$10.5 million Players Championship in Florida this week.

Earlier today, the four-time major champion tweeted a picture of himself on the driving range with a golf bag adorned with the TaylorMade and TP5x logos clearly visible in the background.

The purse is the biggest for a non-major on Tour ($10.5 million U.S.) and the victor gets a five-year PGA Tour exemption, among other goodies.

"I hit the TaylorMade 6-iron with the TaylorMade ball and it went 7 yards further than that".

"It's very rare that you get excited about your equipment - but I am".

The World number two signed an exclusive deal with Nike in 2013, in an initial five-year deal.

Critical to McIlroy's decision was the performance of his golf ball, particularly in windy conditions. We were hitting balls together and I was asking him what he thought about everything and he said, 'Dude, the stuff is really good.' He's got a great relationship with Keith [Sbarbaro] and said he trusts whatever he says about his equipment.

"A variety of driver heads, lofts, shafts, swingweights and adjustability settings were all tested, with McIlroy keen on finding his optimal setup".

For me, it was the better part of two-and-a-half years of just building good result after good result and just chipping away to be consistently better than everybody for a while. "It was after testing with TaylorMade that McIlroy's commitment to play TP5x materialised nearly immediately".

Did you talk to any TaylorMade staffers in particular before signing to get their take on the company?

"I am using the M2 driver I used at the Masters and the same fairway woods while they very kindly made me a prototype set of blades that I've put in the bag which are lovely". He also has commented on the enhanced versatility and turf interaction they provide. The 8.5 is right around 8.25 degrees of actual loft, and the other one is 9.5 degrees that plays at 9.75.

-The "Rors Proto" irons he'll be playing feature an entirely new that features less offset and a relatively short blade length, as well as custom shaping that fits McIlroy's eye. In addition to his new irons, he's opted to play the 3 & 4 irons of the P750 Tour Proto.

For all his greatness, McIlroy didn't even break par at The Players until his fourth appearance. After a thorough process, McIlroy will eventually play the Milled Grind wedges that will be machine milled to his personal specification.

Since DJ's considerable shadow has obscured the rest of the Tour, it seems like eons ago that McIlroy last won.

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