World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will have a new caddie for the European Tour season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
McIlroy arrived in Dubai with good friend and Ulster rugby legend, Niall O’Connor who will shoulder the four-time Major winner’s bag in a one-off arrangement.
That’s because regular bagman, Harry Diamond, who has caddied for McIlroy since July 2017, is taking time off to be with his wife, Claire after the birth of the couple’s first child, a daughter named Georgia Iris.
O’Connor, 32 was born at Limavady, not far from the famed Castlerock Golf Club where he is a member. A good friend of O’Connor’s is European Tour regular caddy, Ryan McGuigan, also a proud member at Castlerock and presently caddying for in-form Thomas Detry.
“Niall’s a great fellow and a fellow member of mine at Castlerock, so I’m looking forward to catching-up with him this week,” said McGuigan.
O’Connor represented Ulster Rugby on 59 occasions from 2007 to 2013, and kicked four penalty goals on debut in Ulster’s 17-16 win over Ospreys.
He’s caddied for a McIlroy in the past having called the shots for Rory’s dad, Gerry, at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2018.
Diamond will be back on the bag when McIlroy kicks off his 2020 campaign, with his expected first start at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
O’Connor was spotted Sunday walking this week’s Jumeirah Estates course with yardage book in hand, no doubt getting familiar with the Dubai venue where McIlroy won a first DP World Tour title in 2012 and then again in 2015.