Rory McIlroy makes equipment change at WGC-FedEx St. Jude InvitationalHad a new lob wedge overnighted to him after duffing chips in Round 1
August 07, 2021
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy makes birdie on No. 4 in Round 3 at WGC-FedEx St. Jude
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Rory McIlroy shot his second straight 4-under 66 in the third round of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at steamy TPC Southwind.
At 6 under for the tournament, he’s too far back to win. A top-10 finish? Maybe. But the real question was which scores are more indicative of how he’s playing, the 66s or his opening 72?
“Oh, the last two rounds,” said McIlroy, who is sharing a house this week with his caddie, Harry Diamond, and Sergio Garcia, who has been doing the cooking. “The first round was – I switched lob wedges, I got TaylorMade to overnight me a lob wedge yesterday because obviously the conditions here are way different than the conditions we've been playing.”
McIlroy duffed two chips in his 2-over 72 on Thursday, and he realized it was because the grass at TPC Southwind is so different to the courses he has been playing. From Torrey Pines South (U.S. Open) he flew overseas for a brief stretch of links golf followed by the Olympics in Tokyo.
“And then I got here with a lob wedge with a sole that just completely was no good in Bermuda,” he said, “and I chunked a few chips on Thursday and I just was like, I'm usually a pretty good chipper of the ball. I just went back to a sole that I've used before, especially that I've done well with in Bermuda conditions, and it's been a little better around the greens the last couple days.”
McIlroy has gotten up and down to save par seven times in nine attempts the last two days, and also has returned to his dominance with the driver. After admittedly struggling for months, he hit 12 of 14 fairways Saturday thanks in part, he said, to a return to his natural athleticism.
“I know what I do well with the driver,” he said. “I've done it my whole career. I turn big, wide, sort of wind up and then sort of hang on my right side and throw my arms and my body at it. You know, I was trying to go away from using my talent and my hands and trying to just sort of do it all with body turn and try to make it very mechanically efficient.
“But I sort of came to the realization that I'm pretty good with my hands,” he continued, “and I'm pretty good at matching it up and it's okay to rely on your talent.”
The two-time FedExCup winner plans to take next week off before the start of the Playoffs, THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National, Aug. 19-22.