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Rory McIlroy teams up with Pete Cowen to rediscover form for Masters

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Pete Cowen and Rory McIlroy
Pete Cowen has previously worked with McIlroy on an occasional informal basis

Rory McIlroy has started working with renowned coach Pete Cowen on an official basis as he bids to rediscover his form in time for the Masters.

McIlroy, 31, has previously sought Cowen’s input on an informal basis but only when long-time coach Michael Bannon has not been at a tournament.

One such occasion was at the Players Championship earlier this month.

“Pete has been added to Rory’s team,” McIlroy’s agent Sean O’Flaherty confirmed on Tuesday.

Cowen, from Sheffield, is regarded as one of the world’s leading coaches and has worked with numerous major champions, including Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell.

McIlroy, who had been taught by Bannon since he was a junior, missed the cut in defence of his Players Championship title after rounds of 79 and 75 at TPC Sawgrass, having produced a poor final round when in contention at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the previous week.

The Northern Irishman has admitted his swing has suffered as a result of an attempt to add more length to his game after watching big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau win the US Open.

“I think a lot of people did,” McIlroy said. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t anything to do with what Bryson did at the US Open.

“I think a lot of people saw that and were like, ‘whoa, if this is the way they’re going to set golf courses up in the future, it helps’. It really helps.

“I thought being able to get some more speed is a good thing, and maybe just to the detriment a little bit of my swing, I got there, but I just need to maybe rein it back in a little bit.”

McIlroy was top of the world rankings when golf shut down last year owing to the coronavirus pandemic but has slipped to 11th before this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas.

His most recent victory came in November 2019 and the last of his four major titles was in the 2014 US PGA Championship.

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