McIlroy parts ways with longtime caddie J.P. Fitzgerald
Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy has fired his caddie and will use his best friend at this week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and next week’s PGA Championship, according to published reports. Reuters cited a source it did not identify as saying McIlroy has parted ways with J.P. Fitzgerald. They have worked together for the past nine years, during which McIlroy has won four major championships and reached No. 1 in the world. McIlroy is due to speak about the change Wednesday during his previously scheduled news conference at the Bridgestone Invitational. The Belfast Telegraph reported that McIlroy's caddie at the next two tournaments will be Harry Diamond, a childhood friend from McIlroy’s hometown of Holywood in Northern Ireland. Diamond was the best man at McIlroy’s wedding to American Erica Stoll in April. According to the Telegraph, Diamond has prior experience on McIlroy’s bag. At the 2005 Irish Open, Diamond caddied for the then-16-year-old McIlroy in a practice round. They were also together at the 2011 Masters during the Par 3 contest, as well as the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2014. McIlroy, having battled through injury issues earlier this year, has made just nine starts this season on the PGA TOUR. He has five top-10s but no wins and is currently ranked 53rd in the FedExCup standings. His last win was the TOUR Championship in September when he claimed the FedExCup. He’s currently ranked fourth in the world after his tie for fourth at The Open Championship. If he doesn’t win next week at Quail Hollow – a course on which he’s won the Wells Fargo Championship twice – it will be his third consecutive year without a major victory. Before joining McIlroy, Fitzgerald spent several years as the caddie for Irishman Paul McGinley, the successful 2014 European Ryder Cup captain. McIlroy was a member of that winning team. "They've had a great partnership, culminating in four Majors and a huge amount of wins. They both can walk away from the relationship with really good memories,” McGinley told the Belfast Telegraph. "There's a sell-by date with caddies, which is regularly illustrated on Tour. They've shared a lot of experiences, and they'll walk away as friends, I'm sure." It is the second significant player-caddie split this summer. Phil Mickelson and Jim "Bones" Mackay decided to end 25 years together. Mackay since has taken a job as an analyst on the course at NBC Sports.
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