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Equipment Report
  • Rory Mcilroy’s putter switch paying off in The Olympics

  • Rory McIlroy carded a 5-under 66 in the second round at Kasumigaseki Golf Club. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)Rory McIlroy carded a 5-under 66 in the second round at Kasumigaseki Golf Club. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

Struggling with his iron play earlier this year, Rory McIlroy went back to a set of blades he had had much success with. Going back to his TaylorMade Rors Proto blades paid off with another win at the Wells Fargo Championship, his first TOUR title since 2019.

At this week’s Olympic golf competition outside Tokyo, McIlroy is applying the same logic to another portion of his golf bag.

McIlroy, who is representing Ireland alongside Shane Lowry, is doing his work on the greens of Kasumagaseki Country Club with a Scotty Cameron 009M putter, which is similar to the flatstick he used to win his first two majors.

“I think I sort of want to get back to being as athletic and instinctive as possible and I feel like that style of putter, that blade, it sort of helps me do that,” he said Friday after shooting 66. “It makes me become very target oriented, at the hole and having my focus be out there, instead of in here (looking down).”

When asked if the 009M reminds McIlroy of the younger, free-wheeling version of himself, he replied, “Yeah, it does.”

Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis reported that Scotty Cameron himself placed the 009M in McIlroy’s locker at the 2016 PGA Championship. McIlroy said he “messed around” with the putter during the COVID lockdown but this is its competitive debut.

McIlroy has putted primarily with the mallet-style TaylorMade Spider X model for the past three years. He used a Spider X Hydroblast in his T46 finish in The Open Championship.

McIlroy is 86th in Strokes Gained: Putting. He was a career-high 24th in that statistic in his FedExCup-winning season of 2019 before dropping to 122nd last season.