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Revitalised McIlroy ready for the Players Championship

Golf
MIAMI - After a five-week lay-off that saw him wed American Erica Stoll in an Irish castle, soak up the sun on a Caribbean honeymoon and strike a new multi-million dollar equipment deal, Rory McIlroy is keen to start a new chapter in his life at the Players Championship in Florida this week.

“The last few weeks have been really cool. Obviously got married and went on honeymoon and enjoyed that,” McIlroy said.

“Got back home to Florida last Thursday, been trying to lose a bit of weight before this week ... but, yeah, everything’s been great.”

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Rory McIlroy. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The 28-year-old signed a reported $100 million deal to switch to TaylorMade for the next 10 years. He previously had an equipment contract with Nike before the company announced late last year they were pulling out of the golf equipment industry.

The world number two, who signed a long-term extension to his Nike apparel contract in April, said he decided to switch to TaylorMade’s clubs and balls starting this week after feeling a lack of control with his shots in windy conditions.

“So I sort of went back to the drawing board and tested for about 10 days pretty extensively after Augusta, worked with a lot of different things,” he said. “Saw stuff with the golf ball and I thought, 'wow, this is what I need, this is exactly the thing that I’ve been struggling with'."

McIlroy said he felt like he was starting “a new chapter in my life ... but I really feel with the new equipment, as well, it’s hopefully going to take me to that next level".

McIlroy did not think his intensity and focus on the golf course would change now that he is a married man, but thought marriage could be beneficial off the course.

“It might help me get over tough losses a little bit easier,” said McIlroy.

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