The 2023 Masters took a toll on Rory McIlroy.
He made equipment changes, he made several scouting trips to Augusta National and yet he missed the weekend. Little mistakes added up, and he fell short of the career grand slam once again.
The RBC Heritage was next up on the schedule, a designated event that boasted the best field the tournament had ever seen.
He received some backlash after his withdrawal because the event at Harbour Town Golf Links was the second designated event he skipped in 2023 — all players are allowed to miss one this season.
Now he returns to Quail Hollow Club, the site of his first Tour win in 2010, for the Wells Fargo Championship.
The three-time winner in Charlotte, North Carolina, spoke with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis about his decision to spend some time at home instead of playing in Hilton Head Island.
“More for my mental and emotional well-being I needed to be at home for those few weeks … I think I’m in a better head space than I was,” he said.
“It’s been a taxing 12 months mentally.”
— Golf Today (@GCGolfToday) May 2, 2023
After a few events with a Scotty Cameron in the bag, McIlroy has gone back to his TaylorMade Spider X putter. He lost .85 strokes with the Titleist wand at the Masters.
“I had my best ever putting year on Tour last year so no need to throw the baby out with the bath water,” he told Lewis.
After playing two events with a different putter @McIlroyRory is back to his @TaylorMadeGolf Spider putter for @WellsFargoGolf. He said “I had my best ever putting year on Tour last year so no need to throw the baby out with the bath water.” pic.twitter.com/CuIXwxIp7r
— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) May 2, 2023
Should a McIlroy win on Sunday surprise you?
In 2021, the Northern Irishman missed the cut at Augusta and went on to win the Wells Fargo in his very next start. In fact, since the start of the 2020-21 season, McIlroy has finished inside the top 10 five times in his next start following an MC (seven missed cuts during that span).