Exclusive: McIlroy fires long-time caddie Fitzgerald - source
Send a link to a friend
[July 31, 2017]
By Andrew Both
CARY, North Carolina (Reuters) - Rory
McIlroy has sacked his long-time caddie J.P. Fitzgerald, a source
familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, ending a
partnership that took the Northern Irishman to four major titles and
the top of the world rankings.
McIlroy will have a new caddie on his bag at the World Golf
Championships Bridgestone Invitational this week after ending his
nine-year relationship with his fellow Irishman, the source, who did
not want to be named, said.
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. [nL3N1JH59W]
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 number one.
[to top of second column]
Rory McIlroy celebrates his win with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald on the
sixteenth green in the final playoff round of the Tour Championship
at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY
"He has taken me from 200 in the world to major
champion," McIlroy said of Fitzgerald in 2011.
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 British Open was Fitzgerald's swan song with
McIlroy, who flirted with contention in the final round before
finishing equal fourth.
Forbes estimated that Fitzgerald earned $1.65 million from his cut
of McIlroy's prize money over the 12 months to June this year.
(Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten