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It’s official: Rory McIlroy HAS consulted with Butch Harmon as he bids to end his long pursuit of The Masters next week.

It was reported earlier today that the world No.2 had reached out to the acclaimed coach for advice after finishing in a tie for 19th at The PLAYERS Championship last month.

Despite finishing runner-up and winning in Dubai in back-to-back weeks on the DP World Tour in January, McIlroy is still searching for his first top-10 of the season on the PGA Tour.

With The Masters just around the corner – and with it, another opportunity for him to complete the career grand slam – the Irishman has turned to Tiger Woods’ former coach for advice.

“I’ve done this a number of times in my career,” said McIlroy ahead of this week’s Valero Texas Open. “I met Butch when I was 14 years old, so we’ve always had a good relationship.

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“If there’s one guy that I want to go and get a second opinion from, it’s him. After The PLAYERS and just sort of struggling through that Florida Swing with my swing and with some of the misses I was having with my irons, I just thought to myself I’m obviously missing something here and I just would love to go and get a second opinion and have him take a look, a second set of eyes.

“The one thing with Butch is you go spend time with him and you’re always going to feel better about yourself at the end of it whether you’re hitting it better or not. He’s sort of half golf coach, half psychologist in a way. It’s fun to go out there.”

McIlroy added that he spent around four hours with Harmon at his base his Las Vegas.

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“He said a couple of things to me that resonated. It’s the same stuff that I’ve been trying to do with my coach Michael [Bannon], but he sort of just said it in a different way that maybe hit home with me a little bit more.

“It was a really worthwhile trip and I feel like I’ve done some good work after that. This is a good week to see where that work has gotten me.”

The Masters is all that stands between McIlroy and golfing immortality.

Win next week and he will become only the sixth golfer in history to win all four major championships. However, this will also be his tenth attempt at completing the slam.

He has six top-10s in his last nine visits to Augusta National but has missed the cut in two of the last three years, including last year.


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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