Ex-Ulster and Connacht fly-half Niall O & # 39; Connor is & # 39; on the bag & # 39; for world number two Rory McIlroy this week
Former Ulster fly-half Niall O & Connor is to caddy for fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy at this week's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
World number two McIlroy is Harry Diamond without a common caddy, but insists that he knows the course well enough to cope in his absence.
"If there is a week where I don't have Harry in my pocket, it's good this week is it," McIlroy said.
"I feel like I can play this place blindfolded," said the double winner.
"I have been coming back here for 10 years. I know the place like the back of my hand. The golf course is better and better each year and now it feels like a much larger event.
" One of The great things here is that it is an advantage if you have a little length. Most of the boys here this week have played the course before and know what it takes to play well here.
"It's a place that has a lot of goof memories for me and the way I hope I can go out in the last few months, give myself a chance and end the season at a peak."
Diamond has the week off after his wife, Claire, gave birth to the first child of the couple.
O & Connor, who also played for Connacht, Ireland Wolfhounds and Ireland Under-20s, is another friend of McIlroy.
"Niall is here and it's going to be a fun week for us. Of course I may take a little more responsibility than usual," McIlroy said.
"It feels a bit like when Harry first came to the bag a few years ago, wrote things in my yardage book and moved things up and down. I actually enjoy that part of it.
"Niall and I go a long way back. I have to feel as relaxed and loose as possible there and he can help me with that. "
The DP World Tour Championship is the season-dependent event of the European Tour and although McIlroy is mathematically excluded from winning the Race to Dubai, there is a $ 3 million first place check.
After winning his last tournament, the WGC-HSBC Champions, the four-time big winner could best match his career with five wins this calendar year and another title would also further benefit Brooks Koepka at the top of the cutting world ranking.