Rory McIlroy has heard the criticism directed at his caddie and friend, Harry Diamond. And McIlroy isn’t having it.

Diamond has been looping professionally for McIlroy since 2017, although the relationship between the two goes back to childhood, and Diamond served as best man at McIlroy’s wedding in 2018. The duo has enjoyed success in their partnership, with McIlroy often crediting Diamond for creating a comfortable working environment.

However, some have pointed to Diamond and his perceived deference to McIlroy as one of the reasons why McIlroy hasn’t added to his major total since 2014, with the question being raised if Diamond is possibly holding McIlroy back from his full potential. Those calls were amplified in recent weeks after the US Open, with instructor Hank Haney and NBC Sports analyst Smylie Kaufman among those laying blame for McIlroy’s heartbreak at Diamond’s feet. “I felt like (caddie) Harry Diamond really should have stepped in on the 15th hole. He did not have the right club in his hands,” Kaufman said in a podcast. “And I felt like Rory could have taken control of the championship on 15 if he just hits it in the middle of the green. And he hit a good shot. But it just was the wrong club. And never, never was a 7-iron for Rory. Especially with a right flag. If the wind was down off the right, it’s not exactly a flag and a wind condition and the heat to be able to land it in a hula hoop, where you got to hit this kind of soft, spinny, fade 7-iron. It was an 8-iron all day, hit it in the middle of the green.

“I would say that was a huge, huge mistake. I don’t really ever see Harry stepping in a ton. Rory always, if he has a question, he’ll ask, but for the most part, Rory kind of goes and does his thing and he’s got a lot of feel.”

Haney, for his part, said an experienced caddie like Stevie Williams wouldn’t let McIlroy make some of the mistakes he makes, citing the 15th as an example of a “bad decision.”

McIlroy, making his first appearance since Pinehurst at this week’s Genesis Scottish Open, defended Diamond, calling the criticism “unfair” and hitting back at some of the critics.

“Hank Haney has never been in that position,” McIlroy said on Wednesday from Scotland. “Smylie has been in that position once, and I love Smylie, and he was out there with us on 18. But just because Harry is not as vocal or loud with his words as other caddies, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t say anything and that he doesn’t do anything. I just wish that, you know, these guys that criticise when things don’t go my way, they never say anything good when things do go my way.”McIlroy said Diamond never gets any credit, citing his three wins in 2024, his Ryder Cup success or the Race to Dubai or FedEx Cup titles. “They are never there to say Harry did such a great job when I win, but they are always there to criticise when we don’t win.”

“At the end of the day, they are not there,” McIlroy continued. “They are not in the arena. They are not the ones hitting the shots and making the decisions. Someone said to me once, you would never—if you would never take advice from these people, you would never take their criticisms, either. Certainly wouldn’t go to Hank Haney for advice. I love Smylie, but I think I know what I’m doing, and so does Harry.”McIlroy, 35, is the defending champ at the Scottish Open. He tees off on Thursday with Viktor Hovland and Rober MacIntyre.