When Rory McIlroy tees up at Augusta National this week, it will be with another chance to capture the only Major title that still evades him.
But with a recent change in coaching set-up, McIlroy insists his focus is less centered on completing the grand-slam at The Masters and more on the longer-term goals he has with his game.
Rory McIlroy, statements
“I'm trying to view what I'm doing with my golf game on a. I'm trying to see the big picture here,” said McIlroy.
“I'm not all focused on — I'm obviously focused on this week, but it's bigger than that. It's a journey, right, and it's a journey to try to get back to playing the game the way I know that I can play the game.
“So obviously this week is very important, but I'm still looking beyond that. I'm just at the start of a journey here that I know will get me back to where I want to be.”
That recent journey has included the addition of Pete Cowen to his coaching staff. McIlroy announced the addition after he missed the cut at The Players Championship, with an admission that he’d been struggling after speed training in the Autumn had caused his swing to get ‘flat, long, and too rotational.’
McIlroy has not parted ways with childhood coach Michael Bannon, but he says teaming up with Pete felt like a comfortable decision as he looked to fix issues with his swing.
“I thought with Pete, I think it was sort of it felt comfortable because I've known him for so long.” He said.
“I just thought with what I have been sort of struggling with or trying to find a grasp with my swing, Pete likes to get his students to do what I was trying to feel I was doing, and he's worked with a bunch of different players, and he's got a lot of knowledge and a lot of wisdom. Michael is still a part of the team. You know, it's just an extra set of eyes to seeing a few things; that I just felt bringing Pete in can only help.
“It just felt like a comfortable fit for me. That's the reason I brought him in. It's basically just about trying to understand the body movements a little bit more and sort of understanding why certain shots happen and how to fix those on the fly and how to, even during rounds, okay, if you have a better understanding of what you're doing, then you can start to manage it better, even if things don't feel quite the way you want them to. So that's the simple version of why we started working together.”