Rory McIlroy May Have Discovered the Secret Weapon to Finally Propel Him to Masters Glory

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Rory McIlroy lines up a putt during the WGC-Match Play.

Rory McIlroy would do anything to put a green jacket on his shoulders.

The Northern Irishman still needs a Masters title to complete the career Grand Slam, which would etch his name alongside Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen in the golf record books. A green jacket is the missing puzzle piece he needs to complete his legendary resume.

McIlroy knows his prime years won’t last forever, so he’s begun his Masters prep a few weeks early this season. Just recently, the 33-year-old added a new putter to his bag in an attempt to “rekindle an old flame,” and rekindle he has. Based on the early results, McIlroy should be the man to beat at Augusta National Golf Club this year.

Rory McIlroy switches putters two weeks ahead of the Masters

Rory McIlroy lines up a putt during the WGC-Match Play.
Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on the ninth green during the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club | Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Equipment changes are fairly standard for PGA Tour players, but not right before a major championship. Professional golfers want to feel as comfortable as possible with the clubs in their bags leading up to the most important events on the schedule.

For Rory McIlroy, his confidence level in the flatstick wasn’t where it needed to be, so he switched from his TaylorMade Spider Hydro Blast to a new Scotty Cameron Newport GSS ahead of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. In layman’s terms, he changed from a mallet putter to a blade putter two weeks ahead of the Masters.

The blade isn’t a foreign design to McIlroy. He won the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, and 2016 Tour Championship with a Scotty Cameron blade putter in his bag, and he’s hoping the switch brings him similar success at Augusta National next month.

The World No. 3 has been using his mallet putter with a SuperStroke grip for at least a year, and it powered him to four wins and a FedEx Cup title dating back to the start of the 2021-22 season. However, his putting stroke has gone ice-cold over the last few months.

Although his ball-striking numbers are off the charts, McIlroy currently ranks 173rd on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained from putting. He also ranks 195th in putting from inside seven feet.

That’s not going to cut it at Augusta, so McIlroy decided to shake things up.

Has Rory McIlroy found the secret weapon in his quest to conquer the Masters?

In McIlroy’s first competitive round with the new Scotty Cameron in his bag, he defeated Scott Stallings at the WGC-Match Play, 3&1. The Northern Irishman made six birdies to just one bogey, and he finished his round with only 28 putts. Of the 17 holes McIlroy played, he one-putted eight of them and didn’t record a single three-putt.

But that’s not all.

McIlroy also played a few practice rounds at Augusta National after missing the cut at the Players Championship, and a rumor emerged online that he needed just 19 putts with his new Scotty Cameron to finish one of the rounds. At the WGC-Match Play, reporters asked McIlroy about the rumor, and he answered with a wry smile.

“Yeah, look, I had two good days,” McIlroy told reporters Wednesday. “We played 54 holes in two days, and it was good. I was really happy with where my game was.”

Could this be the breakthrough McIlroy needs to finally conquer Augusta?