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Rory McIlroy fires long-time caddie J.P. Fitzgerald

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Rory McIlroy has fired long-time caddie J.P. Fitzgerald. The report comes from Reuters, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

With Fitzgerald on the bag the past nine years, the 28-year-old McIlroy won each of his four major championships and rose to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Just two weeks ago, McIlroy credited Fitzgerald for his recovery from a disastrous start at The Open Championship. After carding 5-over par on the front nine, McIlroy played the final 63 holes in 10-under to finish T4.

McIlroy is expected to have a new caddie this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. The firing is yet to be confirmed by McIlroy or his team.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Devilsadvocate

    Aug 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Hahahaha well played

  2. freeze

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:06 am

    why not wait until after the fedex cup is over. caddies call yardage and carry the bag, if you need more then that you are lost. he is chasing his 2011-2014 seasons, maybe that player or that circumstance is gone for good

  3. Darryl

    Aug 1, 2017 at 7:19 am

    He should have done this a while back, I don’t doubt JP’s credentials but McIlroy needs an enforcer on the bag, someone who will tell him flat out when he’s making a dumb choice of shot. How many times have we seen Rory, on a par 5, in wet 2 inch rough, ball sitting down, 3 wood in hand, 250 yards from a green with 100 yards of water to carry and the pin 3 paces from front? It doesn’t matter who you are, that’s not a great idea, unless you are sitting +1 and need to be -1 to play the weekend or that’s your card gone. The USPGA a couple of years back, 3 holes into the tournament, Rorys ball is sitting behind a meaty oak tree root and he pulls 6 iron and bangs it at the green, could have ended his week, his season and possibly his major winning career taking that risk. JP should have said, “boss, we’ve got 69 holes to go, chip out pitch on and try and hole the putt, don’t be silly”. Now he may have said that, we don’t know, but if he did and Rory ignored him he should have downed tools there and then. Rory is basically Lee Westwood with bottle, an amazing ball striker who spent (and, it appears, still spends) too little time on the short game. His belief is that he can pound courses into submission and the 32 shots he takes from tee to green on a good day balances out the 34 putts.

    • Someone

      Aug 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      the caddy isn’t to blame. every shot is the golfers choice. the caddy is there to carry the bag and possibly give their impression of the lay of the land. the golfer is always the only person responsible for their game.

  4. Winmac

    Aug 1, 2017 at 3:26 am

    I think he’ll be having an extra bone soon.

  5. JThunder

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Interesting that when Rory “fires” his caddie, he is criticized and belittled on everything from his putting to his personal relationships – yet when major corporate CEOs lay off thousands of people (which happens every month), it’s “just business” and “someone has to make the tough decisions”…

    How about a shank or two for Microsoft? JCPenny? Verizon?

    • Phil Knight

      Aug 1, 2017 at 12:09 am

      Have a hard time staying on topic? Making a leap from a golfer firing his caddie to complaining about corporate hiring practices is just stupid. It’s not even apples and oranges, more like apples and rhinoceroses’.

  6. Matt

    Jul 31, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I wasn’t a Rory fan when he was winning majors. I like him a bit more now but this is a bad look. His game is what is lacking not the guy carrying the bag.

  7. ooffaa

    Jul 31, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Brilliant editorializing over nothing much

  8. Rwj

    Jul 31, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Married, he’ll never be the same. Garcia as well

    • DrRob1963

      Jul 31, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Hey Rory – Put the bride on the bag!

  9. RG

    Jul 31, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Rory, Im available. Have your people call my people.

  10. roland stanley

    Jul 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    maybe it will be tiger on the bag.

  11. jgpl001

    Jul 31, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    About time..if he wants to move to a new level
    JP is a nice guy, but not a top caddie
    Now for a new coach, he needs this also
    Unfortunately no changes will make him a better putter

  12. Dweebly

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I heard it was Wozniaki after a stellar showing at the Par 3 contest.

  13. Someone

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:53 am

    did he actually fire him? or did they just part ways like phil and bones? if it’s the latter, then this article is hugely blown it out of proportion.

    • neil

      Jul 31, 2017 at 10:59 am

      wont be fired.will work for Rory Foundation

      or will be well compensated ,million pay off

  14. Dave R

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

    New wife new caddie. Huh!

  15. Mike

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I’m Available to do the bag, very experienced and cheap lol

  16. Anders

    Jul 31, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Oh, so if all else fails, fire the caddie? Interesting to see if this works out or backfires. One thing for sure – there is a very good caddie available for work.

  17. Barry

    Jul 31, 2017 at 9:34 am

    He will hire Billy Foster if he’s smart

    (which he has not proven to be so far)

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Magical stuff on three tours

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Something happened this weekend. Something quite large in the world of professional sport. An athlete with a hearing impediment claimed victory on the world’s stage. Diksha Dagar, former world deaf championship winner and silver medalist in Deaflympics golf, chased down a victory on the Ladies European Tour. In this writer’s mind, the winners of the Players Championship and the Kenya Open, while deserving of praise, take a rightful backseat to a standard bearer.

Ladies European Tour – South African Open goes to Indonesia’s Diksha Dagar

Diksha began the week with a double bogey, and closed it with a trophy in hand. Not the traditional manner of claiming a first, major professional victory, but certainly one for a unique record book. The young Indonesian golfer totaled 76 that first day, but dropped 10 strokes on day two with 66, sitting just two behind the leader. Her only trouble was, the leader was home-country pro Lee-Anne Pace, in search of a 10th Euro Tour win, and first in five years.

On day three, Pace looked every bit a champion, and Dagar, equal parts runner-up. Scotland’s Michele Thomson and Germany’s Esther Henseleit were in the mix as well, ultimately tying for thrid spot at 3 under. As for the challengers? Pace stumbled with bogeys at 13 and 17, to finish at 4 under on the week. Dagar, in Pace’s words, played flawless golf and closed with birdies at 15 and 16, the later on a holed chip shot, to reach 5 under and claim victory. On this occasion, flawless was the diamond.

PGA Tour – The Players Championship has fitting champion on St. Patrick’s Day

At 2:20 EST, 18 golfers were within 2 shots of the lead at TPC Sawgrass. The leaders were in the throes of McIlrahmoid Fever, that wretched illness that strikes most golfers when much is on the line. Even thought it’s not an official major, the Players has every trapping of that august status: a course waiting to bite you on every shot, money, exempt status, peer respect, and P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E. In the end, only four golfers were within two shots of the lead, and two of them didn’t figure until late. Confused? Understandable.

In a nutshell: Jim Furyk made a run for the old guys, but came up one stroke shy. Jon Rahm hoped to claim that first big win of his professional career, but a wretched closing stretch did him in. Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Brian Harman and others all tap-danced their way into, then out, of contention. In the end, it was the leprechaun himself, Rory McIlroy, who recovered from an early double bogey with 33 on the inward half, to raise the trophy of many faces. McIlroy, birdied 11, 12, 15 and 16 on his way to 16-under par. The title certainly cements him as a potential favorite to finish the career grand slam next month at Augusta.

European Tour – Magical Kenya Open ends up in the hands of Migliozzi

Don’t think that others didn’t try to claim the 2019 Magical Kenya Open trophy. The statue of the strutting rhinoceros would make other baubles pale in comparison. The final nine holes of this year’s event were as compelling as the majestic beast whose visage went home with Guido Migliozzi. The first-time champion on the European Tour took the lead early on Sunday, lost it, then found it again with a run of six pars to the finish. His birdies on 10 and 12 were enough to reclaim the top spot, and pars held his space atop the podium.

Last week’s winner, Justin Harding of South Africa, made four birdies and an eagle from holes 10 to 18. It was his unfortunate bogey at lucky No. 13 that kept him one shot behind the Italian. Countryman Louis De Jager also reached 15 under, closing with seven frustrating pars, while in search of the elusive bird to reach 16 under or better. Spaniard Adri Arnaus jumped into the lead with three mid-round birdies, but gave it back with bogey at the par-5 12th. One more birdie coming home was just enough to join the tie for second with the South Africans.

 

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Tour News

Tiger Woods working with putting coach Matt Killen at The Players

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Tiger Woods says he is fit and healthy ahead of this week’s Players Championship, and the 14-time major champion has putting coach Matt Killen alongside him at TPC Sawgrass as he seeks his third title at the event.

Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte broke the news on social media, and the move represents the first time Woods has had an instructor of any type since his split with Chris Como in 2017.

Woods struggled with the flat-stick at his last outing at the WGC-Mexico, where he three-putted six times. That event represented the first time that Woods has lost strokes to the field on the greens at a tournament since the Northern Trust back in August, and over his previous 24 rounds, the 43-year-old ranks 42nd in this week’s field for strokes gained putting.

Killen currently works with Justin Thomas, J.B. Holmes, Bud Cauley and Blayne Barber, and speaking to Golf Digest, the putting instructor stated on Monday that he likes what he sees in Woods’ stroke.

“His stroke looked good. His putting is better. I like what I see.”

Woods tees off on Thursday at 1.27 pm ET alongside Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed.

 

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Tour News

Francesco Molinari joins Callaway tour staff; WITB details

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Callaway Golf has announced that the 2018 Open Champion, Francesco Molinari, has joined its tour professional staff.

Molinari will make his debut on the PGA Tour as a Callaway staffer this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he will game Callaway woods, irons, wedges, an Odyssey Putter, and a Chrome Soft Golf Ball, as well as a Callaway Staff Bag.

Regarding the announcement, the Italian had this to say

“I am joining Callaway because I’m so impressed by their equipment. More than anything, I’m looking forward to playing the new Epic Flash Driver and the Chrome Soft X Golf Ball. The ball speed gains that I’m getting from the driver are unbelievable. And this golf ball is the best one that I’ve ever played. The performance from tee-to-green, especially the feel and control, is exactly what I want.”

Speaking on the announcement, Callaway Senior VP of Global Sports marketing, Tim Reed stated

“We’re proud to welcome Francesco as our newest Callaway Staff Professional. We’re confident that he will play at an even higher level and enjoy many more great wins with Callaway equipment. He’s added ball speed off the driver with Flash Face Technology, and his performance on approach shots and around the greens has been spectacular with his new Callaway irons, wedges, and our Chrome Soft Ball.”

Currently in the Italian’s bag is an Odyssey Toulon Madison Putter which features a new Stroke Lab Shaft. Speaking on the putter which Molinari is presently using, Sean Toulon, SVP, Callaway Golf & GM, Odyssey Brand, said

“Francesco is a tremendous putter, and he really likes the milled performance he’s seeing from the Madison. And with the Stroke Lab Shaft he’s getting more consistency in the rhythm and the tempo of his stroke. It’s a combination that’s going to help him have a lot of success and make of a lot of big putts.”

Francesco Molinari WITB 2019

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 60 TX

Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 70 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex 19 (4-iron), Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

 

 

 

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