McIlroy back with long-time coach Bannon after working with Cowen
Rory McIlroy is working solely with long-time coach Michael Bannon once more after splitting with Pete Cowen following an eight-month stint.
With Northern Ireland-based Bannon unable to travel to the US because of the Covid-19 pandemic, McIlroy began working with Cowen in March.
“Michael and I are back working together,” McIlroy told Golfweek.
“I’ve always had a relationship with Pete and I’ll ask for his input if I need it. But now it’s Michael and me.”
McIlroy is reported to have resumed working with Bannon in Florida shortly after winning the CJ Cup last month to clinch his 20th PGA Tour title.
Their long coaching relationship began when McIlroy was eight years old and that continued through his four major title triumphs and beyond until the global pandemic prevented Bannon from travelling to the US.
After seeking Cowen’s advice on an informal basis for a period, McIlroy opted to bring the Englishman into his team in March as he approached the Masters.
Missed cuts followed at the Players Championship and Augusta – where his hopes of completing the career Grand Slam were again dashed – and while he did win the Wells Fargo Championship during the summer, his form in the season’s remaining majors was disappointing with a share of seventh at the US Open his best finish.
Following more struggles at the Ryder Cup as Europe suffered a record 19-9 defeat, McIlroy regrouped to win the CJ Cup in Las Vegas, which helped him move back into the world’s top 10 in eighth spot after falling to 15th in the rankings.
But by that stage, he had already taken the decision to resuming working exclusively with Bannon.
Cowen, from Sheffield, has worked with numerous major champions, including Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell, with his clients also including former world number one Lee Westwood.