Harry Diamond, Rory McIlroy’s Caddy: 5 Fast Facts

Rory McIlroy and his caddie Harry Diamond


Rory McIlroy and his caddie Harry Diamond

Rory McIlroy has been working with his caddie Harry Diamond since 2017, ever since McIlroy and his longtime caddie JP Fitzgerald parted ways. While Diamond came on as a temporary replacement, the two decided to continue their partnership on a more permanent basis and Diamond has been by McIlroy’s side since then. The two men are best friends who grew up together in Hollywood, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Here’s what you need to know about Rory McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond:

1. Rory McIlroy & Harry Diamond Met When They Were Both Kids Playing at the Holywood Golf Club in Northern Ireland

McIlroy and Diamond are both pretty private when it comes to their personal lives but what’s known about the two is that they grew up together in Holywood, in Northern Ireland’s County Down. They both joined Holywood Golf Club when they were kids and quickly became friends.

McIlroy told The Independent in Ireland that he grew up an only child and saw Diamond as a “big brother.” He told the publication, “We’re very close. I love having him on the bag. I’m a different person. And I’m never going to give him s*** even if something goes wrong. It would not be worth it.”

According to Golf Monthly, Diamond was also McIlroy’s best man when the pro golfer married Erica Stoll at County Meath in 2017. In addition to standing beside McIlroy on his special day, Diamond organized the bachelor party in Miami.

2. Harry Diamond Has Been Rory McIlroy’s Caddy Since 2017 With the Exception of 2 Weeks When He Was Away for the Births of His Children

Diamond became McIlroy’s caddie in 2017 after the end of the golfer’s long partnership with JP Fitzgerald. In an interview with The Independent, McIlroy said that it’s normal for people in a long relationship to get complacent and said, “I think there was a bit of complacency, so I decided after the Masters it was probably time.”

He admitted that he’d been getting “very hard” on Fitzgerald and added, “Really hard. Really angry… It was partly to do with him and mostly to do with me. I wasn’t playing my best and was frustrated at myself and taking it out on him.”

McIlroy shared that that behavior is something he’d “never do” with Diamond. “Never,” he repeated. In fact, he’s shared in several interviews that his friendship with Diamond comes before their work and he doesn’t really see Diamond as his caddie, but as his best friend.

Diamond came on as a temporary substitute after McIlroy and Fitzgerald parted ways but it soon became permanent, with McIlroy saying he was “really enjoying it, really liking” the partnership. The only time Diamond wasn’t on his bag since then was during the births of his first and second children in 2019 and 2022. Both times, Diamond was replaced by another long-time friend of McIlroy’s, Niall O’Connor. O’Connor is a golfer and also a rugby star who played for Ulster.

O’Connor caddied for McIlroy at the 2019 DP World Championship in Dubai, as the BBC reported that Diamond took a week off to be with his wife as they welcomed their first child. O’Connor was back on McIlroy’s bag in 2022 when Diamond and his wife were expecting their second child, Golf Monthly reported. During that time, McIlroy and O’Connor won the RBC Canadian Open.

“Harry and his wife had their second child last Thursday, so he got in last night, and he’ll be on the bag this week,” McIlroy said according to the PGA Tour’s website. “Niall and I’s run has come to an end at this point. Pretty good record. Had a fourth in Dubai and a first in Canada.” He added, “If I ever need someone to jump in for Harry, I’ve got a pretty good substitute there.”

3. Harry Diamond Was a Golfer as Well & Represented Ireland Over a Decade Ago

Diamond was a pretty great golfer himself and represented Ireland when he was younger. According to Golf Monthly, he won the West of Ireland Championship in 2012 and earned a spot for that year’s Irish Open. At one point, he had a handicap of +2.5, The Caddy Network reported.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Diamond missed the cut “after shooting rounds of 77 and 74 at Royal Portrush’s Dunluce Course.” Diamond was also in the final of the 2011 North of Ireland Championship.

Diamond is pretty private when it comes to his personal life. The caddie is married to a woman named Claire and they have at least two kids together, as his absences from the PGA Tour showed. Golf Monthly also reported that he owns several bars and other businesses.

4. Rory McIlroy Spoke About Their Partnership & Explained Why It Works So Well

McIlroy and Diamond have won several PGA Tour events together and two FedEx Cup wins, in 2019 and 2022, and McIlroy hasn’t hesitated to heap praise on his caddy. After winning at The Players in 2019, McIlroy said Diamond was “one of the best caddies out here, if not the best,” according to Golf Monthly.

He also shared in his interview with The Independent that Diamond is the one who keeps him motivated to win majors when he gets discouraged. “It’s obviously a tough loss for him too but he can see the good in it,” McIlroy said.

“’Rory, you keep doing this and you’re gonna win your majors.’ That was it,” McIlroy shared. “’We’re gonna do this.’ And it was probably something I needed to hear because you can get sucked into that spiral of, ‘It’s been so long … I’ve just had a great opportunity … Am I ever going to do this?’”

In a press conference prior to the 2021 PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, McIlroy opened up about having his best friend as his caddie. He said, “First and foremost we’re best friends, that’s the relationship we have so it’s very, very hard for me to call Harry my caddie cause that sorta puts down the relationship a little bit. I never wanna say, ‘my caddie Harry,’ it kind of feels weird for me to say that.”

5. Rory McIlroy Responded to Criticisms About His Caddy Harry Diamond & That He Hasn’t Won a Major Tournament With Him

McIlroy has hit back at criticisms of Diamond as his caddie, with some people mentioning that McIlroy hasn’t won a major since Diamond joined him. In one press conference, the golfer called the “negativity” around Diamond as his caddy “very unfair, uncalled for.” He said Diamond is an “easy target” for critics, perhaps because of their lifelong friendship, but he said it’s because of that relationship that he wanted to defend his friend.

“I think over the years I’ve proven I know what I’m doing out here,” McIlroy told the BBC in another interview. “I wouldn’t have him on the bag if I didn’t think he was good at what he did.” He called Diamond a “calming” presence and pointed out the many wins they’d gotten together, including two FedEx Cups.

McIlroy said he felt confident that if he could continue to play well, he’d be able to win major championships. “The more I put myself in a position to win, the more comfortable I’m going to feel in that position and ultimately I’m going to step through the door and get another one,” he said confidently.

McIlroy described the feeling of chasing a major win and said it felt the same as when he was looking for his first win. The golfer explained that he’s grown a lot as a person since his last major win so it feels like a completely new experience. “I’m on that journey but I’m getting close,” he concluded.

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