Rory set for Dunhill return before taking a break

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Rory McIlroy is retaining friend Harry Diamond as caddie for the rest of the season, which will include a slot at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Former World No 1 Rory McIlroy will return to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October before taking a break to allow nagging injuries to heal.

The Northern Irishman is going to play all of the FedEx Cup play-off events on the PGA Tour in defence of his overall title there, play the Dunhill with his father Gerry as his partner and then shut it down for 2017.

McIlroy has been battling a stress fracture in a rib all season which caused him to miss a number of events. He admitted at the PGA Championship earlier this month that the injury as still bothering him and wasn’t sure if he’d play again this season after Quail Hollow.

However he entered the first of the play-off events, the Northern Trust Open in New York, and confirmed yesterday he’ll play all four weeks of the competition if he qualifies, and then also the Dunhill.

Rory has been a regular attender at the Dunhill since he first secured his European Tour playing card with a third-place finish in his professional debut in the event as an 18-year-old in 2007.

A crunched schedule and injuries means he has not played the event over the Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns since 2014, when he finished tied second behind surprise winner Oliver Wilson.

McIlroy added that his friend Harry Diamond will continue as his caddie through the play-offs and that he will address a permanent replacement for the ousted JP Fitzgerald over the winter.