AUSTIN, Texas – Rory McIlroy made the week’s most high-profile equipment change with a move to a shorter driver shaft, but Billy Horschel made the most dramatic moves at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Horschel – who defeated world No. 2 Jon Rahm Friday, 5 and 4, to advance to the Sweet 16 – changed both his putter and his golf ball this week.
The decision to switch putters was not voluntary. Horschel explained that when he arrived in Austin he noticed his putter was bent.
“Travel probably,” he said when asked how it was bent. “It was bent probably 3 or 4 degrees closed because I putted with it Sunday before I hopped on a flight, and I brought it out of the bag on Monday, and I was like, wow, this putter is not looking the same anymore. It happens. We all know it happens.”
Matches and scoring from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship
Ping was able to build him a replacement putter and it doesn’t seem to have been an issue with Horschel going 2-0-1 in group play to advance to the knockout rounds.
Switching golf balls, however, was more calculated. Horschel explained that the Titleist golf ball he had been using from 2017 is being phased out and he had been experimenting with a new model last week that spins more around the greens and launches higher.
Even in blustery conditions at Austin Country Club, he said he’s pleased with how the new ball has performed and he added that the match-play format has helped him play a little more relaxed given his equipment changes.
“I've loved everything about it so far and seen some really good positive stuff from it,” said Horschel, who won the Match Play in 2021.