In a scoring slump that has seen his ranking dip from No. 1 to No. 11 in the world, Rory McIlroy is reportedly changing swing coaches.
After working with Michael Bannon for most of his career, McIlroy has been winless for 17 months and apparently is hoping he can correct what’s hindered him in time for The Masters, the season’s first major that begins in two weeks.
McIlroy, according to multiple reports, has hired veteran swing coach Pete Cowen.
The 31-year-old McIlroy is no stranger to Cowen, who has advised him at tournaments when Bannon was absent. McIlroy has not announced an official change, but he was working with Cowen at Bay Hill and the TPC Sawgrass recently, according to reports.
Cowen, who also coaches several players including Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulte, told reporters that he “was just giving Rory my opinion” when they were seen together at TPC Sawgrass.
Cowen has guided players to 10 majors and more than 275 Tour wins in the past 25 years. He noted to reporters that has known McIlroy since he was a consultant coach to the Ireland amateur youth team.
“Doing a little bit of speed training, started getting sucked into that stuff, swing got flat, long and too rotational,” McIlroy said at TPC Sawgrass, where he missed the cut. “I added some speed and am hitting the ball longer, but what that did to my swing as a whole probably wasn’t a good thing, so I’m sort of fighting to get back out of that. That’s what I’m frustrated with.”
McIlroy, who has 18 PGA Tour wins, is scheduled to compete in this week’s WGC Match Play in Texas. It likely will be his last competition before he tries to become just the sixth male player to complete the career grand slam.
McIlory has won the 2011 U.S Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship, making him one of three players, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, to claim four majors by the age of 25.
–Field Level Media