Pros advice

Rory McIlroy praises caddie, then sacks him after Open disappointment

What is being coined as Rory McIlroy’s ‘year of change’ took another sharp turn this week as the Northern Irishman dismissed long-term caddie JP Fitzgerald.

The announcement was somewhat surprising, and has left many in the game shaking their heads in shock that McIlroy would cut ties with a man held in such high regard by his peers. However, McIlroy clearly feels the blame lies at the feet of his now former caddie.

The issue, of course, is that McIlroy has pointed the finger at several issues this season, including injuries, poor equipment, and now his caddie. Should he be looking closer to home for the true reason this year has stuttered and stalled?

McIlroy and Fitzgerald were together for nine years, and experienced everything from four major championship victories and three Ryder Cup successes, to a meltdown at the Masters and a major drought that has now stretched three seasons.

The real head-scratching part of all this comes from how McIlroy heaped praise upon the shoulders of his caddie, despite another poor showing at The Open at Birkdale. And, with five over after just six holes, it was Fitzgerald who took Rory to one side and reminded him of his gifts with a memorable line: 'You’re Rory McIlroy, what the f**k are you doing?'

McIlroy publicly thanked his caddie for the 'great job' he had done in rekindling his spirits as he stormed home in 32 shots for a 71. He would eventually finish tied for fourth.

“He’s had to do it a few times, and he’s never afraid to do so,” McIlroy told reporters after the event had wrapped. “JP kept me positive out there, so that was very much appreciated.”

His dismissal coming so soon after such glowing praise makes the parting bizarre. Add to the fact it occurred as McIlroy prepares for a pair of events on two of his favourite courses merely deepens the mystery.




Keep up to date with all the latest news & videos
Latest News
  • OnlineGolf News: European Tour awards Jon Rahm Rookie of the Year, but not everyone is happy about it

    The European Tour’s decision to award Jon Rahm the Rookie of the Year award hasn’t gone down too well with some people, causing quite the stir in the golfing world...
    Read more

  • OnlineGolf News: 15 highest paid golfers of 2017

    The list of golf’s highest paid golfers of 2017 has been released, with some surprising entries this year. So take a look at the top-15 highest-earning golfers of 2017…
    Read more

  • OnlineGolf News: Steve Williams to retire after 40 years of caddying

    Steve Williams has announced he is to retire from carrying the bags at the end of next year...
    Read more

club.news.more
Latest Videos
  • Video: TaylorMade Milled Grind Golf Wedge

    When you're in the scoring zone and you need a golf club to help you score low, then look no further than the Milled Grind wedge from TaylorMade. This fantastic golf wedge has been created from 8620 carbon steel with bronze finish that offers great feel and touch.
    Read more

  • Video: Mizuno MP-18 Steel Irons

    The Mizuno MP-18 steel iron is a throwback to the muscle-backs of the past...
    Read more

  • GolfBuddy WTX GPS Watch

    This lightweight and slim GPS watch displays dynamic green view, hazard and layup points, giving you accurate distance information and insight you need to play the golf course with more confidence. With automatic hole recognition and access to over 40,000 golf courses around the globe.
    Read more

club.news.more