Ahead of the Masters, Rory McIlroy Hires Famed Swing Guru Pete Cowen

Rory McIlroy talks with his coach Michael Bannon
Rory McIlroy talks with his coach Michael Bannon during the pro am of the Honda Classic at PGA National on February 27, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has a new swing coach, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Ahead of this week’s WGC-Dell Match play – and just two weeks before the Masters, the UK newspaper is reporting that the four-time major winner has hired famed swing guru Pete Cowen as his new coach.

Cowen is a well-respected swing sage from Yorkshire, England, who in the past has worked with Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Tommy Fleetwood, among others. His current roster includes Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, and Ian Poulter.

Rory McIlroy chats with Pete Cowen
Rory McIlroy chats with Pete Cowen on the practice ground during the third practice round prior to the start of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes on July 18, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Sean O’Flaherty, the golf superstar’s agent, confirmed the hire to ESPN, saying that Cowen “is an addition to Rory’s performance team,” which may mean that Michael Bannon, McIlroy’s longtime swing coach, will remain part of the Northern Irishman’s team, but in a different role.

The Telegraph reported:
For the first time since he was eight years old, Rory McIlroy has signed up with a new swing coach. The four-time major winner has cemented his relationship with Pete Cowen as he tries to recover his form in time for The Masters, the season’s first major that begins two weeks on Thursday.

Cowen was reportedly seen with McIlroy on the range at both Bay Hill (T10) and TPC Sawgrass, where he missed the cut.

McIlroy’s relationship with Bannon dates back to his earliest days as a youth golfer at Holywood Golf Course in County Down, Northern Ireland, where Bannon worked as the club pro.

Rory McIlroy talks with his coach Michael Bannon
Rory McIlroy and his coach Michael Bannon during a practice round prior to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club on July 3, 2018 in Donegal, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Bannon took a then 8-year old McIlroy under his wing, and became his primary swing tutor. A year after his protégé won the 2011 U.S. Open, Bannon quit his job as a club pro and became McIlroy’s fulltime coach/mentor. The duo would win a second major that year (2012 PGA), and then two more in 2014. But since then, they’ve come up empty.

McIlroy will tee it up this week at the WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas – his last start before attempting (again!) to become just the sixth golfer in history to complete the career grand slam.

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