Rory McIlroy: World number two dismisses criticism of caddy Harry Diamond

McIlroy says caddy Harry Diamond is an “easy target” as he remains winless in the majors.

Rory McIlroy has strongly rejected criticism of his caddy Harry Diamond, saying his record over the past five years “speaks for itself”.

The world number two’s inability to win a first major since 2014 has continued to fuel commentary on Diamond’s performance, particularly on social media.

However, McIlroy, 33, described lifelong friend Diamond as an “easy target”.

“I think I’ve proven over the years that I know what I’m doing here,” McIlroy told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

“I wouldn’t have him in the bag if I didn’t think he was good at what he did.”

Diamond, who was one of Ireland’s leading fans and won the West of Ireland title in 2012, took over in August 2017 – initially on an interim basis – after McIlroy split with JP Fitzgerald.

He was soon confirmed as the four-time major winner’s full-time caddy and McIlroy has won nine PGA Tour titles – including FedEx Cup victories in 2019 and this year – plus the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions event with his friend on the bag.

“Harry is such a comforting presence to have by my side,” McIlroy said before joining his father Gerry at this week’s Dunhill Links event, which is home to St Andrews, where he failed to win a second Open title in July. Two shots behind Cameron Smith.

“He’s grown into his role very well. I think our record speaks for itself. We’ve won a bunch. We’ve won two FedEx Cups together.”

“I’ll go through the door and get another one”

After a near-miss at the Open two months ago, a season that saw him finish runner-up at the Masters, eighth at the US PGA Championship and tied for fifth at the US Open, McIlroy insists he remains confident he will finish. 2014 stretch to the 2014 US PGA without a major win.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I keep playing the golf I’m playing today, I’ll have a better chance of winning a major,” he said.

“The more I put myself in a position to win, the more comfortable I’ll feel in that position and eventually I’ll get through the door and get another one.

“It’s funny because I feel like I’m on my way to winning my first one again because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. That maybe gives people a little more perspective on where my heart is. It’s not just ‘he’s won’ four…why can’t he win another one?” ‘

“I feel like that was a long time ago and now I’m a different person and I have to relearn how to do it. I’m on that journey but I’m getting closer.”

“It’s not all about winning and losing”

McIlroy seemed deflated after his July Open disappointment, but when he returned to his golf home on Wednesday, he spoke of a change in perspective.

“The support I’ve gotten all along the way … still gives me goosebumps,” she said.

“I can only have good memories of that week. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to in the end but it was still a great week. Great trip.

Rory McIlroy won the Wanamaker Trophy in 2014 after his last major title
McIlroy’s last major win was at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla in August 2014.

“The thing I’ve realized about life is that it’s not all about winning and losing. There’s so much more to it.

“You still want to win and you still want to collect trophies, but at the end of the day, sometimes I have to step back and appreciate the journey I’ve been on.”

In the short term, a strong performance in Scotland this week could help McIlroy return to world number one ahead of Scottie Scheffler before the end of 2022, with the Northern Irishman also defending his CJ Cup title on the PGA Tour a couple of weeks earlier. rounding out his season at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

“If I keep putting it out there and play the golf I’ve been playing, I think I’ll have a chance.

“At the end of the day, the world ranking is an algorithm that the computer throws up every Monday, but if you play well enough, it takes care of everything.”

McIlroy began his Dunhill Links challenge with a four-under 68 at St Andrews, seven shots off the club lead.