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McIlroy: Golf ball was key to Taylor Made deal

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rory McIlroy explained on Tuesday following news he’d signed an endorsement deal with TaylorMade that it was the golf ball that prompted his decision.

“I wasn't really happy with the golf ball I was playing and I needed to do something. I felt like I struggled in the wind,” he said on Tuesday.

On Thursday at The Players the world No. 2 got his first test of his new golf ball, with winds that gusted to 15 mph and swirled around TPC Sawgrass.

“It definitely goes through the wind a lot better, which I'm happy about,” said McIlroy, who opened with a 1-over 73. “I wasn't hitting from the fairway too much, so it's hard to control your distance from the rough here with any golf ball, let alone one that you like. Hopefully I can hit it on the fairway a bit more tomorrow and give myself a few chances from there.”

McIlroy hit just 6 of 14 fairways on Day 1 but 10 of 18 greens in regulation.