Rory McIlroy says he has taken on greater responsibility for problem-solving within his own game after breaking up with Pete Cowen and choosing to work only with longtime coach Michael Bannon.
Bannon has returned to working alongside McIlroy after the four-time major winner won the CJ Cup in Las Vegas after a disappointing Ryder Cup.
“These two weeks between the Ryder Cup and Vegas, I feel like I’ve figured out some things on my own that you sometimes need to do,” said McIlroy.
“Sometimes you have to go and throw hundreds of balls on the field and hit a few and find out for yourself, and I feel like you did.
“I’m not saying I never need help again and I get it.
“I talked about it a bit in Vegas. I was just trying to be myself and not try to do what other people do or what I can’t do. Guess I went to Vegas. with a little more confidence, I won this tournament and it gave me a little more confidence. “
McIlroy and Bannon’s long coaching relationship began when McIlroy was eight and continued until Bannon was unable to make it to the United States last year due to the global pandemic.
After informally asking Cowen for advice, McIlroy brought the Englishman into his squad as the Masters approached, where he failed to carve out a spot for himself.
After a grueling two-day Ryder Cup opening, the Northern Irishman spoke at length with Bannon and arranged for him to fly to the United States after the CJ Cup, where he won his 20th PGA Tour title.
“If anything, Michael is more of a sounding board at this point,” McIlroy said.
“I tell him ‘this is what I’m trying to do, tell me if I’m not doing well at all.’ But again I’ve been golfing for a long time, I think I know what I’m doing about it. mostly.”
McIlroy is in Dubai for the European Tour’s end-of-season DP World Tour Championship – his penultimate event of the year. He will end his 2021 campaign at the Hero World Challenge event in Tiger Woods, Bahamas.