Coach Cowen denies McIlroy sacking rumours

Legendary golf coach Pete Cowen has remarkably gone public in a UAE newspaper addressing rumours he has been sacked by Rory McIlroy.

The normally quietly-spoken Cowen says he’s taken the very unusual step of writing for the Dubai-based Gulf News after revealing he is being hounded by journalists in the UK asking where ‘he stands’ on his relationship with McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: PGA Tour)

The unfounded rumours began circulating soon after his absence at last week’s CJ Cup in Las Vegas when McIlroy won for a second time this season .

In the 550-word article Cowen, who has an academy at the Emirates Club in Dubai, quotes Mark Twain, saying: ‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.’

“I have been contacted by a number of the UK golfing media over the last 72 hours about where I stand with Rory McIlroy.”, wrote Cowen in his Gulf News article.

“It seems, because I was not with him last week in Las Vegas when he won the CJ Cup on the PGA Tour, everyone assumes we are not together. Does anyone realise that I cannot be with all my players, all the time, wherever in the world they are playing?”

“Just to put the record straight to all Gulf News readers and the rest of the world, I spoke to Rory as recently as Thursday.”

“Rory is having some much needed and well deserved R&R. People don’t seem to realise what a win takes out of a player, both physically and mentally.”

“We had a good chat about his forthcoming schedule which he will finalise and announce shortly.”

“It seems that Rory is getting his feel back into his game, rather than just trying to find more strength and length which is not Rory’s style. This is a process that he has had to go through and learn for himself,” Cowen added in allusion to McIlroy’s brief stint chasing Bryson DeChambeau’s big-hitting swing.

“To get that feel back he had to go back to the basic fundamentals of the game which is, hopefully, where I have made a difference.”

It is likely we won’t see the World No.8 back on a course until the DP World Championship in Dubai – a tournament he has won three times (2012, 2014 and 2015). McIlroy lies in 19th place on the European Tour’s Race To Dubai.