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Despite slipping outside the world’s top-10 for the first time in three years, Rory Mcllroy insists he won’t be making any changes to his team.

It had been speculated that the Northern Irishman might be considering changing either his coach Michael Bannon or caddie Harry Diamond after admitting to feeling “dejected” following a disappointing end to his Arnold Palmer Invitational title bid on Sunday.

The four-time major champ closed with a 76 to finish in a tie for tenth at Bay Hill – eight shots behind winner Bryson DeChambeau – and told reporters that he was “maybe looking to go in a different direction”.

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That has prompted rumours over the futures of both Bannon and Diamond but, speaking to the media at TPC Sawgrass ahead of this week’s PLAYERS Championship, McIlroy clarified what he meant.

“I certainly didn’t mean like a change of personnel per se,” he said. “I think more a change in philosophy or maybe what I’m trying to work on, maybe going in a slightly different direction.

“Swing-wise, I think there are some things that I’m working on that haven’t quite bedded in or I’m struggling to grasp what I’m trying to do, so that’s sort of what I meant, talking about going in a different direction. Just sort of maybe trying something different or thinking about another way to do it, I guess.”

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McIlroy, 31, is winless on the PGA Tour since November 2014 and hasn’t won a major championship since 2014, leading some to suggest that his best days are behind him.

Not so, according to the man himself.

“I don’t think you can ever think that,” he said. “I’ve talked about this before, you have to be an eternal optimist in this game, and I truly believe that my best days are ahead of me. You have to believe that. There’s no point in me being out here if I didn’t think that. That’s just not part of my psyche or anyone’s psyche out here.

“I think that’s the difference between people that make it to the elite level and the people that don’t, because they don’t think that way. I certainly believe that my best days are ahead of me, and I’m working hard to make sure that they are.”

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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