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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    McIlroy using custom Nike ball at the Masters

  • Rory McIlroy has five top-25 finishes in seven starts at Augusta National. (Photo courtesy of Geoff Shackelford)Rory McIlroy has five top-25 finishes in seven starts at Augusta National. (Photo courtesy of Geoff Shackelford)

Rory McIlroy is chasing history this week at the Masters. With four major championships already on his résumé, the 26-year-old is a Green Jacket shy of becoming the sixth golfer to complete the career Grand Slam.

If he does manage to accomplish the feat at Augusta, it will be with a custom Nike RZN Tour Platinum ball that was made for specifically for McIlroy's run at history. Most weeks, McIlroy is able to differentiate his ball from his competitors by the "RORS" that's stamped on the side.

Considering the magnitude of the year's first major, Nike decided to do something a little different — adding a green camo Swoosh and "RM5" to the front of the ball. The green is a symbolic Masters color; the "RM5" is McIlroy's initials and the fifth major championship he's chasing.

The custom ball played a special role during McIlroy's Monday practice round, when he used it to ace the par-3 16th hole.

Aside from the color and new graphics, the ball is identical, from a performance standpoint, to the RZN Tour Platinum ball he's had in play since last year's Turkish Airlines Open.

Before switching to RZN Tour Platinum, McIlroy had been playing RZN Black — Nike's low-spinning ball — for the last few years. He decided to switch to Platinum after seeing a 1/2 club distance increase with his irons and additional greenside spin.

The four-piece ball features Nike's new RZN 4.0 core, made from a polymer resin material that's lighter than conventional rubber. Compared to its predecessor, the RZN 4.0 core is 5 percent softer and 10 percent larger, which increases Moment of Inertia (MOI) and mis-hit performance.