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“Struggling” is a relative concept. If you are Tiger Woods, a player who won 14 majors in 12 years, going a fifth straight season without winning one will not be viewed as anything but disappointing.
We know that Woods can win regular Tour events on courses where he has won frequently (Torrey Pines, Muirfield Village, Bay Hill).
What is unknown is how well his new swing will hold up when he is in contention late in the fourth round of a major. Woods has not been in such a position since the 2009 PGA Championship. Until he is, whether he wins another major (let alone five more) remains an open question.
One big difference between amateurs and pros is their respective reasons for changing equipment. Amateurs do it hoping to get better. Pros do it for the money. And Rory McIlroy did it for a ton of money.
McIlroy will ultimately win more majors regardless of his clubs. Except that one wonders whether he opted for the right manufacturer.
Mickelson has won 75 percent of his majors since switching from Titleist to Callaway.
With Woods it is a different story. After he switched to Nike irons in 2002, he went three years before winning another major. And to date,Woods has won fewer majors in 10 years with Nike than he did in six years with Titleist.
The good news for McIlroy is that Nike's golf technology is presumably more sophisticated than it was a decade ago. The bad news is that there may be a transition period that could make 2013 less memorable for him than 2012.