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Home » Rory McIlroy Switches Drivers Mid-Genesis Round 2

Rory McIlroy Switches Drivers Mid-Genesis Round 2

18 February 2023, Saturday
Rory McIlroy gained just 0.661 strokes off the tee at Thursday's first round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera. His performance put him in the bottom third of the thirty-eight players, statistically. Although Tiger Woods, who was not in the top thirty-eight, was seen hitting a few past some of the Tour's longest drivers, even with a bad leg, McIlroy noticed this.

On Thursday evening, Rory McIlroy declared his plans to head to the range. McIlroy had previously altered the loft setting in his TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver at the start of the week, but made the determination to switch to a newer model, the Stealth 2 Plus, while dialing the settings back to 9 degrees. This alteration was evidently prompted by Tiger Woods' formidable drives outstripping McIlroy's on the course.

The results off the tee were immediate for McIlroy, as he placed third in strokes-gained: off-the-tee at the conclusion of his morning round. This impressive feat included a 388-yard drive at the par-4 third hole. However, the scorecard suggested a different narrative, with McIlroy only registering a 4-under 67 and a second-round 69. His two birdies were not until the last hole (the par-4 ninth), as he was hampered by three pars on the par-5s in combination with an uncooperative putter.

Rory McIlroy is staying within striking distance of the lead at the Genesis Open after shooting a second-round 66 at revered Riviera Country Club.

The four-time major champion struggled off the tee on Friday, but he said his ball-striking was much improved from the first round. Though McIlroy didn't birdie many of the more manageable holes, he managed to make birdies on the tougher ones. After 36 holes, he is sitting on a 6-under-par score, just three shots behind current leader Keith Mitchell.

"I drove the ball much better today," said McIlroy. "That's the key to this golf course, birdieing the birdie-able holes. I didn't quite do that today, but hopefully I'll tidy all that up heading into the weekend."
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