Rory McIlroy sacks long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald

McIlroy appointed Fitzgerald as his caddie shortly after turning professional back in 2008

Rory McIlroy has split with his caddie JP Fitzgerald after a nine-year partnership which included winning four majors.

McIlroy's manager, Sean O'Flaherty, said in a text to ESPN that "Rory will talk Wednesday and answer all questions" during a media session in advance of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. With Rory McIlroy at five-over for the opening nine holes on the first day of The Open, Fitzgerald turned to his golfer and said, "You're Rory McIlroy, what the fuck are you doing?".

The 10-year partnership of Rory McIlroy and JP Fitzgerald is over after the Irishman sacked his caddie. It definitely helped. It kept me positive.

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This is the second such split to shock the golf world in a month, after Phil Mickelson parted company with Jim "Bones" McKay, who had carried his clubs for 25 years.

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.

McIlroy, who split with Fitzgerald after nine years, four major championship titles, and an X-rated kick in the trousers from his long-time looper at the British Open, needed someone to handle the luggage on an emergency basis and Diamond fit the profile.

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McIlroy's bag is unquestionably one of the more lucrative, with "Forbes" estimating Fitzgerald earned $1.65 million in the 12 months from June 2016 to June 2017. Fitzgerald was thrust into the spotlight at the British Open last week. The Telegraph in the United Kingdom reported that his best friend, Harry Diamond will be on the bag this week. He's won the PGA Championship twice.

McIlroy has not won since his Fed-Ex Cup triumph last September.

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