June 14, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy has "US2" stamped on his ball indicating his pursuit of a second U.S. Open victory. (Jonathan Wall)
OAKMONT, Pa. — For the second straight major championship, Rory McIlroy will have a custom Nike RZN Tour Platinum golf ball in play at the U.S. Open.
After using one with a green camo Swoosh and "RM5" on the front during the Masters — he was attempting to win his fifth major title and the career Grand Slam — McIlroy is mixing things up at Oakmont.
Instead of green, McIlroy opted for a red camo Swoosh and "US2" stamped right below the logo, which represents his chase for a second U.S. Open Championship Trophy.
From a performance standpoint, the custom ball is identical to the RZN Tour Platinum ball he's had in play since last year's Turkish Airlines Open. He switched 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, increasing Moment of Inertia (MOI) and mis-hit performance.
Of course, McIlroy isn't the only Nike athlete with a custom ball this week. Brooks Koepka, Charl Schwartzel and Paul Casey will have custom versions as well. In honor of Father's Day, Koepka and Schwartzel added the initials of their dad's; Casey went with "Lex," his son's name.
Koepka and Schwartzel play the RZN Tour Dot Platinum, which is the same ball as the retail version but has a softer cover that generates more spin on approach shots and around the green.
Nike’s custom RZN Tour Black, Tour Dot Platinum and Tour Platinum balls are available through nike.com with a retail price of $52 per dozen.