Rory McIlroy SACKS caddie JP Fitzgerald to end nine-year relationship

Rory Mc Ilroy and JP Fitzgerald's partnership has resulted in four major titles over nine years

Rory Mc Ilroy and JP Fitzgerald's partnership has resulted in four major titles over nine years

Rory McIlroy has split from caddie JP Fitzgerald.

Reuters are today reporting that McIlroy has sacked long-time caddy Fitzgerald, having worked together for nine years.

McIlroy tees off this week at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, with reports suggesting his friend Harry Diamond will take on the bag in a temporary role while he seeks a replacement.

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'He said to me, "You're Rory McIlroy, what the f*** are you doing?",' the world No.4 said. It definitely helped. It kept me positive.

The 28-year-old won there in 2014, the year he won The Open and the PGA Championship on his way to the world No1 ranking.

Fitzgerald's words clearly helped as McIlroy bounced back from an opening round 71 to shoot 68-69-67 over the next three days.

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Phil Mickelson and Jim "Bones" Mackay chose to end 25 years together. Apart from the few months at the start of his professional career, McIlroy has known only Fitzgerald in his corner.

Fitzgerald's standing is such that he would not struggle for another top bag if he wants one - but, with an estimated £7m banked during his partnership with McIlroy, he might decide to walk away and indulge his love of horse racing. McIlroy ultimately finished in a tie for fourth. The Dubliner was reported by Forbes to have earned $1.65 million previous year from his role as McIlroy's caddie. Diamond, who will be on the bag this week, is a childhood friend of McIlroy's.

Fitzgerald, after all, is now McIlroy's former caddie, or apparently so if a claim about his sacking proves to be correct. Fitzgerald's meticulousness has been called into question by his peers, some of whom believe the mistake at Birkdale was merely the latest error. The Telegraph in the United Kingdom reported that his best friend, Harry Diamond will be on the bag this week.

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