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Rory McIlroy has made his partnership with top coach Pete Cowen official. 

As first reported by The Telegraphthe four-time major champion has “cemented” a new working relationship with the English coach in a bid to turn his form around. 

McIlroy, 31, is without a win on the PGA Tour since November 2019 and has fallen from No.1 on the Official World Golf Ranking – a position he held when golf resumed from its COVID-19 hiatus – to 11th. 

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After a disappointing final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this month, McIlroy admitted to being in need of a “spark” to reignite his career, adding: “I’m maybe looking to go in a different direction.”

At The PLAYERS Championship the following week, he denied that “different direction” would include a “personnel change” on his team. “I think more a change in philosophy or maybe what I’m trying to work on, maybe going in a slightly different direction,” he explained. 

Yorkshireman Cowen, who has worked with major champions Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson amongst others in a highly decorated career, was seen working with McIlroy on the range at Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass. 

He subsequently told reporters he was “just giving my opinion” to the Northern Irishman. 

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However, following The Telegraph’s report last night, McIlroy’s agent Sean O’Flaherty confirmed the news in a text message to ESPN

“Pete is an addition to Rory’s performance team,” he wrote.

It is understood that McIlroy’s current coach Michael Bannon will remain part of the team. Bannon has coached McIlroy since he was eight-years-old and has been a full-time member of his staff since 2012. 

McIlroy is set to play in this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship at Austin Country Club in what is expected to be his final appearance before making his latest attempt to complete the career grand slam at The Masters next month.

author headshot

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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