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Rory McIlroy teams up with swing coach Pete Cowen in bid to end winless run after missing cut at The Players

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Rory McIlroy last won a tournament in 2019 with last major triumph coming in 2014; Cowen has impressive track record, having worked with a string of top players; McIlroy to bid for career Grand Slam in the Masters next month, live on Sky Sports

Rory McIlroy has teamed up with renowned swing coach Pete Cowen after missing the cut at The Players.

Cowen will be an addition to McIlroy’s ‘performance team’, which also includes putting coach Brad Faxon and Michael Bannon, who has been McIlroy’s coach since he was a young boy.

Cowen is widely regarded as one of the top coaches in world golf, with a number of majors winners on his CV including Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett.

    Rory McIlroy’s quest for Bryson DeChambeau speed led to swing flaws

Rory McIlroy admitted that trying to add more length to his game – partly influenced by Bryson DeChambeau’s dominant US Open triumph – has led to his current swing problems

After missing the cut at The Players, McIlroy revealed that his bid to add extra speed and distance to his long game, prompted by Bryson DeChambeau’s US Open win, caused the swing flaws that contributed to his poor performance at TPC Sawgrass.

McIlroy has fallen to 11th in the world rankings and his last victory came in October 2019, while he is without a major success since 2014.

Brooks Koepka (left) is one of the many top players to have worked with Pete Cowen (right) Brooks Koepka (left) is one of the many top players to have worked with Pete Cowen (right)

The 31-year-old will be hoping he can quickly find his best form, with the Masters, the season’s first Major, starting at Augusta in two weeks, live on Sky Sports.

But his first assignment is the WGC Match Play in Texas this week – and he will play Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter in his opening match on Wednesday.

It will likely be McIlroy’s final tournament before he lines up in the Masters, once again trying to become just the sixth male player to complete the career grand slam.

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McIlroy 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.

How Rory McIlroy got ‘sucked in’ to following Bryson DeChambeau

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley reacts to Rory McIlroy’s comments about his swing struggles and tries to explain why the four-time major champion attempted to add extra speed and distance

McIlroy has not hidden his admiration for DeChambeau over the last year, but his admission that he had developed issues with his swing while chasing extra speed and distance was a surprise to many.

DeChambeau’s physical transformation has been well-documented, gaining around three stone in weight – mostly in muscle mass – and the impact on his performances has been one of the hottest talking points since golf resumed following the coronavirus shutdown last year.

Convinced that hitting the ball further than anyone else was the best course of action for success, DeChambeau traded accuracy for raw power and the rewards came early. After the PGA Tour returned at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, the American posted three straight top-10 finishes before cruising to a three-shot victory in Detroit.

McIlroy, long regarded as one of the longest hitters on Tour, got a close-up view of DeChambeau’s strategy when they were paired together for the final round at Colonial, and he was somewhat taken aback when he was constantly out-driven.

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