McIlroy and Nike Dominate WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship’s New Format


In a huge upset for Titleist fans everywhere, the WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship was led by anything but. This year’s tournament format was changed dramatically, but that’s hardly an excuse for this dramatic turn-around when last year’s Driver Derby was dominated by Titleist 913 and TaylorMade SLDR drivers.

Changes to the WGC Cadillac Match Play Format

Prior to 2015, the format was a single elimination match play. Starting with this event, players were divided into 16 groups of four for round-robin matches, the winner of each group would then move on to a single-elimination bracket.

Players were less than excited about the new format than the PGA, though. Jason Day was quoted by USA Today remarking, “There was no urgency on Wednesday this week. It was sort of dull out there. I liked the way it was. You win you move on. You lose you go home. It was that simple.”

Other players were simply confused. Henrik Stenson lamented his lack of preparation, “I thought it was half games, I hadn’t read the papers carefully. It’s all kind of coming out a bit flat. I think they try to get something going here with the change. But now in my group we’re all done, except John (Senden) has already gone through, with two wins, he’s got himself through today. So no one has anything to play for tomorrow… I take it as a glorified practice round, I guess.”

Tournament Leaders and Their Gear

For the players who took readily to the new format, there was a lot on the line. With a pot of $9.25 million on the line, $1.5 million of it going to the winner, it paid to be prepared. Semi-finals play consisted of Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Gary Woodland, and Danny Willett — nearly all of these men were armed with Callaway gear.

McIlroy alone brought a bag filled with Nike clubs. He also walked away with the trophy, thanks to an arsenal loaded with heavy hitters like his Nike Vapor Pro driver, Nike Vapor woods, Nike VR Pro Blade irons, Nike VR Forged and Nike Engage wedges and a Nike Method 006 Method putter. McIlroy’s putter was the real star of the tourney, though, helping him sink a 44-foot eagle in the semifinals, then sending him on a five birdies in 10 holes streak that lit a fire under him for the final play-off against Woodland.

The whole gang at 3balls congratulates Rory McIlroy on his big early season win, even if he is a Nike guy (just kidding, Rory!). If you’re in the market for gear like what the pros are playing, take a look at our great selection of new and used golf clubs from PGA favorites including Nike, Titleist and Taylormade at incredible everyday prices at

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