Joost Luiten in a role reversal over when to WD

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DIALED IN: Heading into the final stretch of the season, Rory McIlroy was still tinkering with his equipment after the switch to Nike. He feels as if he finally has it figured out, thanks to a new combination of a driver with a slightly larger head, and a ball is softer around the greens.

Of course, it helps that he is swinging better than he has all year.

Asked if it was the best ball-driver combination he has had all season, McIlroy thought for a moment and replied, “It’s the best ball-driver I’ve ever had.”

“It’s the highest ball speed I ever got _ 184 mph ball speed, which is high,” he said. “This is the first year I comfortably going into the 180s in all speed, and this has upped it again. I feel comfortable with it. And the most comforting thing is I’m swinging the club well.”

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DIVOTS: The European Tour returns to South Korea next year, even though it lost Ballantine’s as a title sponsor. The tournament will be played May 1-4 at Blackstone Golf Club in Icheon. The tour said it would announce a new title sponsor later. … Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is indebted to Soren Kjeldsen. The Spaniard forgot his wide-brim Cleveland visor last week, so he played without a hat. He won the BMW Masters, and for the trophy presentation, borrowed Kjeldsen’s Cleveland visor so his primary sponsor could get its due in the victory photos.

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STAT OF THE WEEK: Rory McIlroy (24) is the only player in his 20s in the top 10 of the world ranking.

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FINAL WORD: “When I was an amateur, it didn’t mean much about me going up and down scorewise. And now it’s pretty much $1,000 on the line. I’ve just got to learn to not think about that and just enjoy myself.” _ Lydia Ko on joining the LPGA Tour next year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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