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Well, that didn’t last long.

According to Golfweek, Rory McIlroy has split with coach Pete Cowen and is, once again, working exclusively with his long-standing mentor Michael Bannon.

Four-time major champ McIlroy started working with Yorkshireman Cowen at The PLAYERS Championship in March and has won twice on the PGA Tour since then: the Wells Fargo Championship in May and the CJ Cup last month.

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However, he has struggled for consistency – a fact reinforced by his Strokes Gained statistics – and admitted to losing his way after attempting to emulate Bryson DeChambeau’s in the quest for greater distance off the tee.

His frustrations were plain for all to see during the Ryder Cup in September where he cut an emotional figure after winning his singles match match with Xander Schauffele on the Sunday.

The Golfweek story quotes McIlroy as saying: “Yes, Michael and I are back working together. I’ve always had a relationship with Pete and I’ll ask for his input if I feel I need it. But now it’s Michael and me.”

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McIlroy first teamed up with Bannon as an eight-year-old prodigy in Northern Ireland. 

Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair were separated by the Atlantic Ocean but it’s understood that Bannon has now returned to Florida and is helping McIlroy prepare for next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship on the European Tour.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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