Northern Irishman parts ways with his caddie who he has worked with since 2008 just days after heaping praise on Fitzgerald during the Open
RORY McILROY has sacked caddie JP Fitzgerald after nine years together and four major titles… and more than £52million in prize money.
The Northern Irishman finished fourth at this year’s Open at Birkdale and has decided to make a change in his career.
According to Reuters, McIlroy will have a new caddie on his bag at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational this week after ending his nine-year relationship.
There was no immediate response from McIlroy’s management to an e-mailed request for comment late on Sunday.
Phil Mickelson parted ways with his caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay earlier this month after a 25-year partnership that netted the American five major titles.
Fitzgerald’s sacking, which McIlroy is expected to confirm on his arrival at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, comes barely a week after he publicly thanked his bagman for jolting him into gear when he made a poor start to the British Open.
McIlroy, who won his last major at the 2014 U.S. PGA Championship, employed Fitzgerald in 2008 shortly after turning professional.
The pair enjoyed a brilliantly successful partnership as McIlroy took over from Tiger Woods as the game’s dominant force and became world No1.
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McIlroy said of Fitzgerald in 2011: “He has taken me from 200 in the world to major champion.”
At the British Open at Royal Birkdale earlier this month, McIlroy again heaped praise on Fitzgerald, who delivered some blunt words to his boss after the Northern Irishman started the tournament with a string of bogeys.
After fighting back to shoot one-over 71 in the first round, McIlroy told reporters that Fitzgerald had done a “great job”.
It now looks like the Open Championship was Fitzgerald’s swan song with McIlroy, who flirted with contention in the final round before finishing equal fourth.
A golf fan is believed to have pocketed his ball during the final round , costing the Ulsterman up to £155,000 in prize money.
Forbes estimated that Fitzgerald earned £1.25million from his cut of McIlroy’s prize money over the 12 months to June this year.