Before his 3rd round at the FedEx St Jude Classic, Rory McIlroy made his second putter change of the week in the most unusual way.
Putter changes aren’t new for McIlroy but this story caught everyone’s attention for the story behind it.
After switching from the TaylorMade spider to a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 mallet, McIlroy struggled on the greens on the first two days, missing a host of putts and despite his brilliance from tee to green, he felt the putter he found in the shed was an eighth of an inch too long.
“It was like half an inch too long. It’s funny, I didn’t really notice it in practice, and then once I got into competitive play, I always put my right hand on my putter first to go in and out. I just felt like where my right hand was at the top, it just felt a little too up. So I compared it to my Spider last night, it was like half an inch. It wasn’t like a huge difference”, McIlroy told the media.
The four time major champions adjustment would have been easy if it had been a Monday or a Tuesday of tournament week, but all the tour trucks had left the premises on Wednesday afternoon, so McIlroy and his Caddie Harry Diamond had to think outside the box.
Diamond took McIlroy’s putter to a local Edwin Watts golf branch and this is where the story gets even better.
Chris Oden was working the front desk when Harry Diamond popped in with two putters in hand and asked if the Scotty Cameron could be shortened to the length of his spider.
According to Gabby Herzig who spoke to a shop employee, Oden was questioning whether the putter needed shortening until he realised who it was for.
“Diamond said ‘I got two putters here. I need to get this one cut to the same length as this one.’ And he put them on the ground and I said, ‘They are the same length.’ He goes, ‘No, this one’s longer than that one.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re talking about like an eighth of an inch. Nobody’s going to notice that”, he told Herzig.
“He said, ‘Rory will.’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, he will,” Oden had just realised he was speaking to the World number 2’s caddie.
Rory McIlroy got his putter shortened at Edwin Watts Golf Shop on Friday. I talked to the store employee who helped Rory’s caddie with the task:
“I said, ‘You’re talking about an eighth of an inch. Nobody’s gonna notice that. He said, ‘Rory will.’ I said, ‘Oh. Yeah, he will.” 🤣
— Gabby Herzig (@GabbyHerzig) August 12, 2023
The story gets better.
Jim Hudson, the man in charge of club repairs noticed Diamond and Oden discussing the putters but like Oden, he didn’t recognise Diamond and signalled to Oden that no more repairs were being taken that night.
Oden told Hudson he might want to make an exception for this one. Hudson quickly made the biggest club adjustment of his career and sent Diamond on his way, presumably pocketing a huge tip.