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World No.2 Rory McIlroy will have a new man on his bag at this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

However, it will only be a temporary measure.

Four-time major-winner McIlroy will be using former Irish rugby player Niall O’Connor to carry his clubs as the European Tour season draws to a close.

O’Connor, 32, had two spells playing at fly-half for McIlroy’s beloved Ulster rugby side and was capped at Under-20 level for Ireland.

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He’ll deputise for fellow Northern Irishman McIlroy’s regular caddie Harry Diamond, who has the week off following the birth of his first child last week.


O’Connor, who has worked for a private equity firm in New York since his rugby career came to an end, previously caddied for McIlroy’s dad in the 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

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This week marks McIlroy’s 25th start of an impressive year in which he has won four times and closed the gap on Brooks Koepka at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings.

He can neither win the Race To Dubai nor overtake Koepka as world No.1 this week but, with $3m for the winner, he has plenty of motivation to play well.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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