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Rory McIlroy: Criticism of caddie Harry Diamond ‘uncalled for’

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Rory McIlroy is hoping for a repeat of his 2012 Kiawah Island heroics when he tees it up at this week’s PGA Championship, and ahead of the event, he has launched a passionate defence of his caddie Harry Diamond.

Diamond began looping for Mcilroy in 2017, and the partnership has been scrutinized by some talking heads, with critics often pointing out Diamond’s lack of experience.

McIlroy singled out Diamond for praise following his role in the Irishman’s drop on the 72nd hole at Quail Hollow, and ahead of this week’s event, McIlroy revealed how critics of the looper are off base.

“This was supposed to be a short-term thing back in 2017, and I ended up really enjoying it, really liking it, and he – we made the decision that this was going to be a long-term thing, and it’s worked out great. We’ve had six wins together.”

I think the reason I wanted to single Harry out, as well, I feel like he gets some negativity around the relationship that’s very unfair, uncalled for. People don’t know him, don’t really know me. They sort of see things from the outside and from their own perspective, but they don’t really know.”

Mcilroy then went into further detail on the drop, which proved to be the correct decision at Quail Hollow, saying that if it wasn’t for Diamond, he likely would have lost the event.

“I wanted to make a point of Harry was 100 per cent the person that told me not to hit that ball on 18 in the creek, and if it wasn’t for him, I probably would have lost the tournament because I’d still probably be trying to hack it out of there. I’m like a dog, if I see a golf ball I want to hit it. It’s there. Or if someone puts a football in front of me I want to kick it. I saw the ball, I wanted to hit it.

He’s like, let’s just think about this. That was the reason I wanted to single it out, because he kept a cool head when maybe I wasn’t in the best place. And yeah, because of that unfair criticism that I think he’s gotten over the last couple years, I wanted to just make a point of we know what we’re doing out there.”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. James

    Jun 3, 2021 at 2:47 am

    My friend handles a Drimmel really well, but I wouldn’t let him drill my teeth with it. I go to the dentist for that. Same thing for a professional caddie. Your friend can do it. but should he?

    • Zzzz

      Jun 4, 2021 at 11:01 am

      Depends on what you need or want out of your caddie. Not every caddie on tour is out there crunching numbers, checking wind or choosing clubs. Some are simply there to carry a bad, tell bad jokes, and remind you when to eat.

      • James

        Jun 10, 2021 at 2:10 am

        sounds like you described Rory’s bag man

    • Steve Finley

      Jul 8, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      But in that analogy, _you’re_ the one who should be the dentist, if you’re a professional golfer.

      Really, your initial statement is dead right. It _does_ depend on what you want out of a caddie. I’m absolutely amazed — and appalled, sometimes — at the way players use caddies as crutches on questions they should be crystal-clear about themselves. “Off the right a little? Quartering in?” Jeez, I don’t know. You’re a pro. Can you tell which direction the wind is blowing by standing there and feeling it? /: Some of these guys act like they’re a machine waiting for input from the programmer.

      I don’t actually know why it’s anybody’s business. If Rory likes him, who cares? Has he won with him on the bag? Yeah? Then I don’t get why it’s a problem.

      • Steve Finley

        Jul 8, 2021 at 4:56 pm

        Oops, sorry — it was the first reply that said “depends what you want out of a caddy.” Which is exactly right.

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19th Hole

Tiger set to attend Hero Challenge in person; Spot left open for potential PNC appearance

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In what is typically a down month in the golf world, December may be getting a bit more interesting in 2021.

The PNC Championship is a golf tournament that pairs former major championship winners with a family member and it will be held On December 18th and 19th at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida.

In last year’s event, Tiger Woods and his son Charlie held the golf world captive with their appearance in the event. The pair finished in 7th place but what was even more notable was how similar Charlie was to his dad:

Despite Tiger’s lengthy rehabilitation from his serious ankle injury, there seems to be a growing speculation that he and Charlie may compete in the PNC Championship once again this year.

According to Golfweek,  the PNC Championship is keeping a place open for Woods in the limited-field event. Last year’s edition of the PNC Championship was the last time Tiger has played in a competitive event.

Woods was recently seen hitting golf balls on the range, adding fuel to the speculation that we could see him with Charlie in three weeks.

Woods also looks set to make an appearance at this week’s Hero World Challenge in Albany. According to Marine Traffic, the yacht, named Privacy, reportedly left Florida at the start of the November and is currently moored in Albany.

 

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It seems likely that Woods will make his first public appearance since the car crash on February 23rd of 2021.

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19th Hole

‘You don’t know, but I love you’ – Coach K reveals his huge respect for Brooks Koepka

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After his utter dominance of bitter rival, Bryson DeChambeau in “The Match” on Friday November 26th, Brooks Koepka was spotted sitting courtside at the Duke vs Gonzaga basketball game. The game ended with an 86-81 Blue Devils victory in front of a crowd of 20,000 fans in Las Vegas.

In a video shared by the Duke Men’s Basketball’s Twitter account, Krzyzewski met with Koepka after the game. Coach K made it clear how much he admires Koepka in the clip: “You don’t know, but I love you,” Krzyzewski said, admitting to rooting for him over DeChambeau: “No, I do, and I was cheering for you, and I thought you handled yourself well”. 

Brooks also met with the Duke basketball team after the game, asking “what’s up boys?” as he entered the locker room. He introduced himself to the players and Sophomore, Jeremy Roach asked Koepka for swing advice to which he replied that Roach had to figure it out for himself first.

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19th Hole

Lee Westwood rules himself out of captaining Europe at 2023 Ryder Cup

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From Sam Torrance in 2002 to Padraig Harrington just a few months ago, all of the ten European Ryder Cup captains this century have been faring on the ‘obvious’ side of the shock value range.

Experienced in the event, it’s as if players have been groomed to be future leaders and very rarely do they seem to baulk at the chance to lead a star-studded team in the bi-annual highlight.

Until LJW.

Lee John Westwood, the 48-year-old winner of 25 European Tour events and stalwart of 11 Ryder Cups, recently told the Daily Telegraph that whilst “it would be an honour to captain Europe”, it “is something I can’t commit to while I’m in the (OWGR) top 50 and still competing.”

Favourite and almost handed the role before the reported conversation, we should be reminded that Westwood most recently won the 2020 race To Dubai with a win in Abu Dhabi, a runner-up in Dubai and a top-15 at the U.S Open.

2021 saw him finish runner-up at The Players and at Bay Hill, hardly efforts to think he should be hanging up the sticks quite yet.

“Whoever gets the role for Rome will obviously have my full backing and I’ll continue to do all I can for the Europe cause, as I’ve always tried to since my debut 24 years ago.”

Clearly still enjoying being part of the traveling playing contingent, he confirms that the Ryder Cup is something “close to my heart” though captaincy is “almost a full-time job” and that he could only take the role if able to “give it 100 percent”.

Vice-captains for the European loss at Whistling Straits must now come into contention, though with Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer still playing at the top level, perhaps Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson are now favourites.

With the final vice-captain, Graeme McDowell, making it clear he would be very interested in being considered leader for the 2027 running at Adare Manor, Westwood would now seem a ‘knock’ for 2025 at Bethpage, a venue at which he finished 23rd in the 2009 U.S Open.

However, golf tends not to work in such an obvious way.

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