WITB: Rory McIlroy


Rory McIlroy put on a Sunday masterclass to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by three shots, helped by a both a new driver shaft and putter in the bag.

Before that thrilling eight-under-par 64 on Sunday, Rory had dropped out of the World's top 10 and hadn't won a tournament since the 2016 Tour Championship, with many posing questions about the state of his game. 

He answered those critics on Sunday, leading the stats in Strokes Gained Putting (10.027), Strokes Gained Total and Driving Distance. And he did it with some new gear in the bag.  

Rory had a new driver shaft for Bay Hill, switching from Tensei White to Tensei Orange, which is a counter balanced shaft that allows more weight in the head of his driver. It clearly worked, with McIlroy hitting a monster 375 yard drive on the 16th that set up his seventh birdie of the day. 

He also switched in the new TP Black Copper Soto putter, which has a slant neck (not out for retail until April). What that means is you don't have quite as much toe hang as a regular putter, and it's clear his confidence is back with the flat stick. A putting session with Brad Faxon earlier in the week also helped him free up his head to stop overcomplicating things on the greens.

“I sort of felt like maybe [I was] complicating things a bit and thinking a little bit too much about it and maybe a little bogged down by technical or mechanical thoughts."

“Just kept saying the last few weeks I wasn’t that far away. It just takes something just to click into place and something clicked into place with my long game. Obviously something clicked into place with my putting as well. This is the result. So it’s, it’s just so nice to see everything come together finally.”

Driver: M3 460 8.5° Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70-X

Fairway Woods: M3 15° FW Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80-X; M3 19° FW Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80-X 

Irons: P750 4 iron Project X 7.0; P730 RORS Proto 5-9 irons Project X 7.0

Wedges: MG wedges 48°, 52° and 58° Project X 6.5; MG wedge Hi-Toe 60° Project X 6.5

Putter: TP Black Copper Soto putter

Ball: TP5X #22 ball