Rory McIlroy Praises Impact of Caddie Harry Diamond After Win
There is a certain added buoyancy to golf whenever Rory McIlroy showcases his best form, making his victory on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship gratefully received and setting the Northern Irishman up for another bid for the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
His final round of 68 secured the win by one-shot, but there were anxious moments on the fearsome 18th of Quail Hollow Golf Club, when a wayward tee shot narrowly avoided the creek.
Faced with several options, McIlroy's caddie and long-time friend Harry Diamond stepped in to help his man assess the situation, persuading the four-time major champion to take a penalty drop from a difficult lie inside the hazard line.
It was a strategy that proved inspired after the 32-year-old played a sublime approach to the green, ultimately two-putting for his first title since November 2019.
And McIlroy was quick to praise Diamond, who has found himself a target of critics whenever the world number one has struggled.
“Harry was awesome out there today, especially that decision on the last,” said McIlroy. “I was ready to get in there and try to play that with a lob wedge and he was sort of like, ‘Let's take a step back, let's think about this, where's the best place you're hitting your third from.’
"So he sort of calmed me down, slowed me down a little bit and said, ‘Pal, let's just think about this.’
“Ultimately we made the right decision and I dropped instead of trying to play that shot out of the hazard. I hit a great third shot onto the green and was able to two putt from there. But I think this is Harry and I's sixth win together and it's probably been our best one.
"During the sort of tough parts that I've sort of had to endure over the last few months, he's been with me every step of the way and it's nice to come through all that with him and to get into the winner's circle again.”
Since missing the cut at the Masters, McIlroy has been working tirelessly alongside renowned coach Pete Cowen and lifelong instructor Michael Bannon, but under the intense pressure of the 72nd hole of a PGA Tour event, it was the calm thinking of Harry Diamond that helped to make the crucial difference.
They'll now be hoping to claim a first major championship together as a partnership next week.
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