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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 Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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

‘No hard feelings or anything like that ‘ – Rickie Fowler explains decision to split with longtime caddie

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Rickie Fowler is getting ready to compete at this week’s Playoff opener after squeezing into the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings.

The 33-year-old is looking to overcome a poor run of form that has seen his star fade, with the former World Number 4 now languishing outside the top 150 in the world.

Ahead of this week’s FedEx Cup opener, Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis first reported that Fowler had split from longtime caddie Joe Skovron who had been on Fowler’s bag since Rickie turned pro in 2009.

Speaking on the split, Fowler told Lewis:

“It happened Friday night when we finished up in Greensboro. Told Joe I wasn’t really gonna go into details on who brought up the decision or who made the decision or anything like that. We’ve always been a team, we always will be a team, he’s like a big brother to me. Friendship and all that comes first.

No hard feelings or anything like that, I just thought it might be the best option for the current time, but by no means does this mean we’re not gonna rekindle the flame in the future or anything like that, but I know it’s been tough on both of us.” 

Ben Schomin, the tour operations manager for Cobra Puma Golf, will caddie for Fowler this week in Memphis. Schomin filled in for Bryson DeChambeau last summer following his own split with his caddie, and per Fowler, nothing is decided yet on a long-term replacement.

“Still don’t know where I’ll end up,” Fowler told Lewis. “I got Ben on the bag for me this week. I thought about who I am gonna bring in for kind of a one-off, or this could kind of be next week as well, just depending on how we play this week.”

Fowler has competed in 17 events this season, missing the cut in eight and failing to register a top-20 finish in any.

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19th Hole

Judge rules against LIV trio’s FedEx Cup suspension appeal in early victory for PGA Tour

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On a dramatic day off the course in the world of golf, a federal judge denied Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones’ application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the PGA Tour.

The result means that the trio will now miss out on this year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs that get underway this week.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs made the case that the three golfers were being unfairly blocked from competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. On the other side, attorneys for the PGA Tour argued that all the golfers stood to suffer was solely money related, therefore not meeting the standard for “irreparable harm.”

After almost two and a half hours, Judge Freeman ruled in favour of the PGA Tour and denied the trio a TRO, concluding that the three players had “not established irreparable harm.”

Following the verdict, LIV Golf released a short statement saying they were disappointed that the trio “won’t be allowed to play golf.”

Gooch, Swafford and Jones are due to return to the courtroom along with seven others for the bigger antitrust suit filed against the PGA Tour. The suit alleges that the PGA Tour has been unlawfully sanctioning them for signing on with LIV Golf. 

At the close of Tuesday’s case, Judge Freeman indicated that the larger antitrust lawsuit could be heard in the fall of 2023.

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19th Hole

‘You chose the circus, stay in the circus’ – 4-time PGA Tour winner latest to blast LIV rebels

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Reacting to the news that 10 LIV golfers (down to 10 after Carlos Ortiz withdrew his lawsuit on Tuesday) have served a lawsuit on the PGA Tour, veteran player Ryan Palmer had a simple message, “you chose the circus, stay in the circus.”

Speaking with SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, hosts Jason Sobel and The Caddie heard Palmer state that, “There is nowhere to go from there (the LIV series).”

The four-time PGA Tour winner may have been seen as a likely candidate for the rebel tour, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Amongst the 10 players named in the suit, Taylor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, saw their appeal for a Temporary Restraining Order, in other words the opportunity to come back on the PGA Tour, in order to play at this week’s first FedEx playoff event, the St. Jude at Southwind, thrown out on Tuesday.

Speaking on the drama, Palmer told Sobel and his fellow broadcaster:

“I’m tired of it, tired talking about it. They chose that route, all you heard was ‘play less, be home more’, well now you want to play and come out and play the big events next year and then play over there. I just don’t get it.”

“You know what, you chose the circus, stay in the circus.

“We’re here on the PGA Tour, the greatest stage in golf in my opinion. It’s different. In my opinion there is no incentive to play golf out there. There is nowhere to go from there.”

Referring to the huge money offered by LIV, the experienced 45-year-old commented, “Okay, there is a purse. I call it a $25 million Calcutta.”

Continuing the theme, Palmer explained why he won’t be tempted to jump ship if offered the chance.

“There’s money to play for but there is nowhere to go from there. What’s their upsides besides bank accounts?”

“For me, sitting here in Memphis, I’ve got a place to go and that’s to get back in the top 50 in the world, get back to the majors, get back to the upper echelon of the calibre out here. If I’m out there, I’ve got nowhere to go.”

Currently at 114th in the current world rankings Palmer will look to return to the form that saw him rank 47th at the end of last season.

You can hear the player’s frustration here:

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