Rory McIlroy has famously had one swing coach throughout his life, Michael Bannon. However, in breaking down the Friday four-ball pairings on Live From The Ryder Cup, Golf Channel lightning rod Brandel Chamblee made an assertion that even caught his fellow analyst, Frank Nobilo, off guard.
In lamenting a two-way miss that doomed him on Sunday at East Lake during the Tour Championship, Chamblee bemoaned European captain Thomas Bjorn saddling McIlroy with Ryder Cup rookie Thorbjørn Olesen before lobbing out a pretty startling observation.
“We have talked about — through the course of this year — that Rory has struggled from time to time with his golf swing and that he’s been working on changing his golf swing,” Chamblee said. “He has, throughout his entire career, worked with one teacher, Michael Bannon. But if you were watching (Thursday) morning, you saw a little bit of a difference.
“That man behind him? That is not Michael Bannon. That is Pete Cowen. Pete Cowen and Rory McIlroy were talking about the golf swing. Rory was going back, talking to Pete, Pete was making some sort of motion telling him what to work on, so he is making a swing coach change this week.”
“I love the conspiracy theory,” Nobilo interjected.
“Are they not conversing?” Chamblee challenged. “It’s interesting this year as I’ve been watching the range, I see Pete a lot behind Rory.”
Despite Chamblee’s assertions and the obvious discussions McIlroy was having on the range with Cowen, Brian Keogh of IrishGolfDesk.com confirmed that McIlroy and Bannon were still working together.
In case anyone is wondering about Pete Cowen and Rory on the range, McIlroy is still with Michael Bannon. No change there.
— Brian Keogh (@IrishGolfDesk) September 27, 2018
“In case anyone is wondering about Pete Cowen and Rory on the range, McIlroy is still with Michael Bannon,” Keogh wrote. “No change there.”