Rory McIlroy fired longtime caddie J.P. Fitzgerald and will have his friend, Harry Diamond, on the bag this week for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and next week for the PGA Championship.
McIlroy and Fitzgerald were together for nine years and all of McIlroy’s four major championships, plus his total of 95 weeks as No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the fourth-highest total behind Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo.
After McIlroy made bogeys on five of the first six holes in round one of the Open Championships two weeks ago at Royal Birkdale, Fitzgerald basically chewed out his boss.
“You’re Rory McIlroy, what are you doing?” Fitzgerald scolded.
McIlroy steadied the ship to shoot 71 after finishing in a tie for fourth in the third major of the year, he praised his caddie for the turnaround.
However, there also were reports that Fitzgerald mis-clubbed McIlroy on the 10th hole in the final round, where he made a double bogey.
Fitzgerald reportedly received a $1.4-million tip from McIlroy after he won the Tour Championship to capture the FedExCup last year.
Diamond has caddied for McIlroy before, in the 2005 Irish Open and in the 2014 Dunhill Links Championship.
McIlroy hasn’t won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship but expected is to be a favorite in the PGA next week at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., where he twice won the Wells Fargo Championship. He posted a course-record 61 in the third round two years ago and won by seven strokes.