Rory McIlroy has tweaked his set-up to be better prepared for the Quail Hollow par-5s – keep an eye on how he uses his 3-iron.
Rory McIlroy is ready for the PGA Championship after some changes to his bag setup. The 4-time Quail Hollow champ is making some tweaks to accommodate the Quail Hollow track renovations.
McIlroy typically carries 4 wedges (46°, 52°, 56°, and 59°). That’s what he had in his bag when he won the 2015 Wells Fargo. But he’s dropping down to 3 for the PGA Championship (48°, 54°, and 60°). Why? Because he’s thinking he’s going to be using his 3-iron on some of Quail Hollow’s par-5s and the newly renovated par-3 6th.
Watch for how McIlroy handles his tee shots and approaches on the par-5s. He says he’s been devising some strategies to “bridge the [loft] gap” between the 48° and 54° wedges. He’s not the kind of player’s who’s likely to be trapped between clubs on approach. He’ll already have a solution. We just don’t know what it is, just yet.
How does a guy like Rory McIlroy work out those kinds of tactical problems? TrackMan, of course.
McIlroy is currently the oddsmakers favorite this week, running just slightly ahead of Jordan Spieth. But McIlroy has struggled this season. That rib injury he sustained at the South African Open plagued him for months. Then there was his wedding, which was certainly a distraction of a very different sort. So despite his winning record at Quail Hollow he’s feeling a certain push to nail down a 2017 win.
He’s coming in with two fresh top-5 finishes and McIlroy says he feels at home here.
There’s just certain golf courses that you can see the shot you want to hit. You don’t have to try to visualize a shot. It’s right there. And that’s the way Quail Hollow has always been for me. I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve always felt comfortable.
McIlroy is paired with Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm for the 1st and 2nd rounds. It’s an interesting grouping. Teeing off at 1:35pm ET on Thursday and 8:25am ET on Friday, they’ll treat us to some fine tee-to-green work!