By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Rory McIlroy arrived in Abu Dhabi for his first event of 2013 with 14 Nike clubs in the bag, but by the time he departed Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Friday following a second-straight 75 to miss the cut, the world No. 1 was down to 13, after he ditched his Nike Method 006 Prototype putter on Friday for his Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS putter.
"I just felt like I wasn't getting the ball to the hole," McIlroy said. "The greens here are a little slow and the Nike putter I used yesterday is quite light, so for practicing on fast greens it's great, but when you get on greens that aren't quite as quick like here, I felt like I was having to hit it a bit more. So, it's just a weight issue. The one I used today is a bit heavier, so I thought I could stroke it a bit more, so that was it."
Even though the putter swap didn't lead to an improved score in the second round, the decision will likely lead many to wonder if he'll put the Method 006 back in the bag for his next event.
During the Nike press conference announcing his move to the company on Jan. 14, McIlroy was asked specifically if his contract allowed him to switch putters. While the 23-year-old refused to get into specifics regarding his contract, he did say he felt comfortable enough with the putter to put it in play.
McIlroy won't be back in action until Feb. 20 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play.