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Calls for Rory McIlroy to hire a new caddie have re-surfaced after his latest major championship disappointment.

Two missed putts combining for just over seven feet in length cost McIlroy at Pinehurst No.2 as he failed to convert a late two-shot lead on Sunday.

But two-time DP World Tour winner Eddie Pepperell has insisted that the Northern Irishman would have walked away with a fifth major title if he had a ‘stronger’ caddie.

Speaking on The Chipping Forecast podcast, Pepperell claimed one key club decision was ‘inexplicable’ before calling for McIlroy to hire a new caddie.

“Sometimes, to win a golf tournament, you need to limp over the line, and I’m adamant that it is your caddie on occasions like that can really be the difference,” the Englishman said.

“My immediate takeaway is that with a stronger caddie, he would not have made the bogey he made on the 15th.

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“He looked so comfortable and in control and he just needed to hit it to the front part of that green on 15. And I really think he would have walked away with that trophy.

“That was an inexplicable club decision on 15 and possibly the last too.”

McIlroy teamed up with childhood friend Harry Diamond in 2017 after parting company with his long-standing caddie JP Fitzgerald.

So, who should the 35-year-old hand the responsibility to? According to Pepperell, he could do with a familiar face to prevent Diamond from ‘holding him back’.

“I just think Rory needs somebody who’s capable, like (former caddie) JP (Fitzgerald) probably used to be able to do and help him get across that line,” he said.

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“I wouldn’t have said this If he had won but I think he needs a new caddie. I hate saying that about Harry because I’m sure he’s a lovely guy. And I’m sure he’s a good caddie.

“But today, I felt Rory needed somebody that could pull him through the finish line. Rory should never have lost that golf tournament today.

“And I’m adamant about that. I’m sure if he had a super experienced, strong caddie, he would have just pulled him through.

“And I think that that’s the thing that’s holding him back in majors. I could be wrong, but that’s what I think and a bogey on 15 was just emblematic.”


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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