AUSTIN, Texas – Two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy reached out to swing coach Pete Cowen for “opinions” on his swing but didn’t appear poised to leave his longtime coach Michael Bannon. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, however, the Northern Irishman is set to begin working officially with Cowen.
Cowen, whose current list of players include Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson, has worked with McIlroy before, including during his days as the coach of the Irish men’s golf team, and the two were spotted together on the range following an opening 79 at The Players Championship two weeks ago.
After missing the cut at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy said his swing struggles stem from his decision to chase “speed” last fall.
“Doing a little bit of speed training, started getting sucked into that stuff, swing got flat, long and too rotational,” McIlroy said at The Players. “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.”
Last month at Bay Hill, McIlroy had suggested it was time for a change but when pressed for specifics he appeared to dismiss the notion of a wholesale coaching change. “I certainly didn't mean like a change of personnel, per se. I think more a change in philosophy,” he said at TPC Sawgrass.
McIlroy is in the field at this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but wasn’t immediately available for comment.