By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy romped to an eight-shot win at the PGA Championship thanks to some game-sharpening in the last few months with swing coach Michael Bannon and putting advisor Dave Stockton. A swing that had gotten just loose enough was tightened, and we saw the results.
The results were also helped by some key tweaks in his Titleist arsenal.
McIlroy led the field in driving distance at Kiawah Island with an impressive 311.5-yard average, all with a Titleist 913D3 prototype driver. McIlroy was first fit for the new driver last month at home in Ireland before the Irish Open, using his two-year-old 910D2 as a base point.
“This one just performs so much better,” McIlroy said at the Irish Open. “I’m getting less spin, which is great in the wind, and it carries 15 yards further in calm conditions.”
Think he knew with that quote that he was ready for The Ocean Course?
McIlroy’s other new additions include a 17-degree Titleist 910F 5-wood (with a Fujikura ZCom Pro 95 graphite shaft), first put into play two weeks ago at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. That replaced a 503i 2-iron he played at the British Open and an 18-degree 906F 5-wood he had in the bag since turning pro. McIlroy also had his 712 MB irons replaced at Firestone after the grooves were getting worn.
Besides leading the field in driving distance, McIlroy led the field in birdies (20), was 10th in putting average (1.688) and 13th in greens in regulation (67 percent).
MAJOR WRAP: McIlroy also played a Titleist ProV1x ball, joining Bubba Watson (Masters) and Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) as major winners with the ProV1x. Ernie Els won the British Open with a Callaway Hex Black Tour. As far as winners’ full product lines, Titleist owned half the major count with McIlroy and Simpson, while Watson carries Ping and Els is with Callaway.
CRISIS AVERTED: Would you be nervous if your longtime putter broke during a Tuesday match before the year’s final major? That’s what happened to Keegan Bradley when his Odyssey belly putter, “The Tooth”, snapped while playing with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.
During play, the “spud” broke, a piece that secures the putterhead to the shaft. Fortunately, an Odyssey rep at Kiawah came to the rescue and used the old shaft with a new White Hot XG Sabertooth head. Voila, the “Tooth 2.”
“No worries at all,” Bradley said last week. “It’s amazing, with my old shaft it looks the exact same, there’s no difference.
Bradley and the Tooth 2 finished T3 at the PGA.
MORE NEW STUFF: Pat Perez, in the picture at the PGA for the first two rounds before finishing T21, used a new TaylorMade Ghost Spider prototype putter. … Peter Hanson finished T7 with the same Ghost Spider prototype and a new 18-degree TaylorMade Rescue 11.
WINNER’S BAG: McIlroy at the PGA
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (Mitsubishi Diamana proto 70X, 8.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 906F2 (13 degrees), Titleist 910F (17 degrees)
Irons: Titleist MB (3-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (46, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x