Rory McIlroy tries to fix his quirky wedges by enlisting the services of famed coach Pete Cowen alongside Michael Bannon
- Rory McIlroy has brought Pete Cowen on board to complement Michael Bannon
- At the Masters, McIlroy finished last in the ‘approach to the green’ category
- The Northern Irishman knows he urgently needs to tackle his wedge game
- Cowen feels that McIlroy does not have enough control over his wedge trajectory
It was Florida’s disastrous triple header that proved the thin end of the wedge.
Annoyed by his short irons at those three big Sunshine State events, Rory McIlroy wondered aloud if he was looking for a new direction. Now he has revealed his hand.
By adding arguably best British golf coach Pete Cowen to complement Michael Bannon, the teacher who has been with him since the age of eight, the Northern Irishman is clearly ready to tackle the area of his game considered his greatest weakness – his wedge game.
McIlroy’s statistics are dire for a player of his quality. At the Masters last November, he finished last in the ‘approach to the green’ category and this year there has been hardly any improvement.
After toiling with his wedge game again, Rory McIlroy uses the services of Pete Cowen
From 50 to 125 meters he is in 138th place. He is 198th from 75 to 100 meters. McIlroy has done the work with Bannon to no avail and clearly thinks it is time for a fresh look.
“Michael has done a great job with Rory and will always be his coach,” said Cowen Sportsmail
“But sometimes a new way of saying the same thing pays off.”
McIlroy sought Cowen’s opinion during the Florida swing, and while the Yorkshireman was understandably reluctant to get into details, he didn’t need a fly on the wall to know what he would have said.
Cowen has stated in the past that he thinks McIlroy does not have enough control with his trajectory on his wedge shots.
“In the modern game, you have to be able to hit those wedges where the ball checks on the first bounce,” he said.
When Lee Westwood was in his prime, he could hit a five iron that checked like that. It is not good for anyone to drive wedges up to 7 meters. ‘
Cowen (left) is considered by many to be Britain’s best golf coach and has helped a number of stars
McIlroy revealed in Florida that he had studied Bryson DeChambeau in a quest for more swing speed. Under Cowen it will look to Dustin Johnson.
Just like McIlroy, Johnson deserved all the praise for his beautiful long race, but the big prizes did not concern him because he was average from 125 meters. Now look at him.
“Dustin is the perfect example of a golfer whose wedge game has improved dramatically,” said Cowen. ‘What a difference. Now he is the clear No. 1 and the holder of the green coat. ‘
No player can win the Masters with a mediocre wedge game, let alone one, like McIlroy, with the added pressure of trying to complete the Grand Slam career. With the jumping showpiece now just two weeks away, is there enough time for Cowen to work its magic?
It’s safe to assume that McIlroy was working on new practice drills at home last week that he will try to show off Ian Poulter in their intriguing struggle at the WGC Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas.
McIlroy (right), who joked with Cowen (left) on the 10th hole during a practice round at the Gleneagles prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup, will be looking to improve on the wedge game
Whatever the outcome, the duo will still have to work to win a group that also includes the brave Aussie Cameron Smith – last year’s joint runner-up in the Masters – and the consistent American Lanto Griffin. .
Elsewhere, Tommy Fleetwood has a great opportunity to get his season started, as he is in the same group as DeChambeau – they will play against each other on Friday – and Scot Robert MacIntyre has the chance to make a name for himself in America with a game against Thursday. Johnson.
However, from a European point of view, the groups’ choice should be the one with Tyrrell Hatton, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Matt Wallace.
There are a total of 16 groups with one player from each for the weekend action after three days of round robin play.