Swing coach Pete Cowen insists Rory McIlroy needs to stop looking back at the player he used to be and instead get back to basics to work towards the player he wants to become.
The Englishman was speaking ahead of take-seven in McIlroy’s bid to become a Grand Slam champion at this week’s Masters. Only Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods have entered the most exclusive club in golf with McIlroy enlisting the help of Cowen in recent weeks in his bid to capture the elusive Green Jacket.
Struggling with a two-way miss since admitting to chasing extra distance in his efforts to bridge the gap between big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau, McIlroy and Cowen have been hard at work on the Augusta National practice range as they attempt to fine-tune the now world number 12’s swing in time for Thursday’s start.
However, for anyone expecting a quick fix, it sounds like it’s very much the opposite approach between the new partnership with Cowen taking McIlroy back to basics in his quest for Major glory.
“We were on the range this morning and just went through the basic principles of what we actually need to achieve,” Cowen said, speaking on the Sky Sports On The Range show. “Just go back to the simple process of making sure that we improve.
“Practice to improve and stop looking back at what we used to be like. As I always say, there’s no future in the past. So you’ve got to look forward.”
Another man taking some remarkable forward steps in the Cowen stable of stars is McIlroy’s fellow four-time Major winner, Brooks Koepka, who will tee-up at Augusta despite the lingering doubt of a recent knee injury.
The American has sat out the last few weeks on Tour in the hope of recovering in time for the Masters and although he’s swinging untroubled, Cowen believes it’s the walking between shots at Augusta’s notoriously hilly track that presents the biggest problem for the world number 11.
“Walking the course is going to be the main thing, nothing else,” Cowen said. “Hitting balls is no problem. He’s in great shape.
“I don’t think anybody can help but be surprised knowing he was on crutches 19 days ago. To be here and hitting it as well as he’s hitting it, he’s in great shape. The only problem is going to be the walking. It’s a tough course to walk.”