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Rory McIlroy lines up new swin...
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Rory McIlroy lines up new swing coach ahead of April's Masters bid

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

09:23 23 Mar 2021

Rory McIlroy is to start working with renowned swing coach Pete Cowen, just over two weeks out from the Masters at Augusta.

The former world number one golfer has fallen to 11th in the rankings and hasn't won a tournament since 2019, with his poor form culminating in a disastrous defence of his Players Championship title two weeks ago when he failed to make the cut.

Following that tournament, the four-time major winner said he had been chasing length off the tee at the cost of consistency to his overall game.

After contending for a number of tournaments earlier in the season, McIlroy's form has steadily declined in recent weeks with his long-term coach Michael Bannon not seen at recent events.

First reported by The Telegraph, he is to now begin working with Pete Cowen, coach to Brooks Koepka among others. While Cowen had been working "informally" with the Irishman in recent weeks, it's now believed that role will be formalised.

McIlroy's agent Sean O'Flaherty confirmed the news to ESPN: "Pete is an addition to Rory's performance team,'' he said.

It will be a major departure for Rory McIlroy from his previous swing coach Michael Bannon, whom he had been working with for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, this week's WCG Dell Technologies Matchplay Championship will likely be McIlroy's final event before his tilt at winning the career-slam of major titles.

He's been drawn alongside Cameron Smith, Lanto Griffin and Ian Poulter in his group for the tournament in Texas, with his opening game against Poulter this Wednesday.

Shane Lowry faces Ryan Palmer in his opening group game on Wednesday before taking on world number 3 Jon Rahm, and then Colombia's Sebastian Munoz.

One player from each of the 16 groups will advance to the knockout stages, with the last 16 and quarter-finals to be played on Saturday, before the semi-final, final and third place playoff on Sunday.

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