McIlroy officially turns to Cowen as swing coach

8: 15 PM ET

  • Bob HarigESPN Senior Creator


    • Senior golf writer for
    • Covered golf for more than 20 years
    • Earned Evans Scholarship to serve Indiana College

Two weeks sooner than the Masters, Rory McIlroy is making a proper teaching addition, tapping longtime trainer Pete Cowen to abet with his sport.

McIlroy has sought abet from Cowen in most up-to-date weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Gamers Championship and now can procure the Englishman on board in a more legitimate ability.

“Pete is an addition to Rory’s performance team,” Sean O’Flaherty, McIlroy’s agent, wrote in a textual mumble material message to ESPN.

The Everyday Telegraph first reported that McIlroy changed into once on the verge of making an legitimate pass to Cowen.

Michael Bannon has labored with McIlroy since he changed into once 8 years aged and rising up in Northern Ireland. As a result of pandemic, they’ve labored much less with each and each varied over the past year.

A four-time essential winner, McIlroy, 31, has no longer won since taking pictures the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in November 2019. At the time, he changed into once on a speed of excessive finishes that took him thru the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2020 as he rose to No. 1 in the world.

Nonetheless since golf resumed final June, McIlroy’s catch has slipped. Throughout that point, his wife, Erica, had the couple’s first child, and McIlroy cited motivational points additionally stemming from the inability of spectators at tournaments.

McIlroy tied for fifth at the Masters in November, nonetheless changed into once 9 photos in the again of winner Dustin Johnson. Earlier this year, he done third at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi, nonetheless he has ignored the cut in two of his past four tournaments — including the Gamers, where he shot an opening-spherical 79 — and has dropped to 11th in the world.

After lacking the Gamers cut, McIlroy admitted that he bought caught up in chasing more distance off the tee, despite being one in every of the longest hitters in the sport. He talked about seeing what Bryson DeChambeau has done hitting the ball farther bought him going down the inappropriate direction.

“I may be lying if I talked about it wasn’t one thing else to full with what Bryson did at the U.S. Open,” McIlroy talked about of DeChambeau, who won the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot by six photos. “I deem a vary of of us seen that and were love, ‘Whoa, if that is the ability they are going to situation golf courses up in the end, it helps. It in fact helps.’

“The one thing that of us tag no longer worship is how qualified Bryson is out of the rough. No longer simplest ensuing from how supreme he is nonetheless because his short irons are longer than long-established, so he can catch a diminutive bit more speed thru the rough than us, than varied guys.

“And I notion being ready to catch some more speed is a decent thing, and I perhaps qualified — to the detriment a diminutive bit little bit of my swing, I bought there, nonetheless I qualified must perhaps rein it again in a diminutive bit bit.”

Cowen, 70, has labored with a entire lot of avid gamers over the years. Amongst his purchasers are Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson. He has additionally labored with Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood at cases.

Bannon changed into once formerly the pinnacle golf legit at Holywood Golf Membership in Northern Ireland, where McIlroy first took up the sport.

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