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Rory McIlroy sacks long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald

Rory McIlroy sacks long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald has been on McIlroy's bag for nine years, including four major championships.

The wire service is reporting that McIlroy will confirm the news upon arrival to Firestone Country Club this week where he is set to play the Bridgestone Invitational. How quickly have those words uttered by JP Fitzgerald less than two weeks ago at Royal Birkdale taken on a totally different meaning. "But J.P. kept me positive out there, so that was very much appreciated". He arrives in Charlotte next week looking to complete the grand slam of all four major crowns with victory at the PGA Championship.

After fighting back to shoot a one-over 71 in the first round, McIlroy told reporters that Fitzgerald had done a "great job".

The four-time major victor finished in a tie for fourth at the Open and during the Royal Birkdale event was effusive in his praise of the bag man, with whom he worked for nearly a decade and won four major titles and 18 other tournaments.

It is unknown if Diamond will be a long-term caddie solution for McIlroy. The Dubliner was reported by Forbes to have earned $1.65 million past year from his role as McIlroy's caddie. It began after that infamous collapse at the Masters in 2011, with BBC analyst Jay Townsend pointing the finger at Fitzgerald three months later, despite McIlroy having won the US Open in the meantime.

The news marks the second big player-caddie split following the decision of Phil Mickelson and Jim "Bones" Mackay to call it quits after 25 years together. The pair are extremely close, with Diamond reportedly acting as best man at McIlroy's wedding to Erica Stoll. Mainly because McIlroy won the FedEx Cup in 2016 which netted him $10 million. "He was with me when I was No210 in the world and when I was No1".


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