McGinley questions timing of McIlroy/Fitzgerald split

Paul McGinley has questioned the timing of Rory McIlroy’s decision to part company with long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald.

The two men reportedly parted company at the weekend, ending a highly successful nine-year relationship where the Northern Irishman won every major apart from the Masters.

It is barely a week since McIlroy was publically thanking his caddie for getting him going in the first round of the Open when he had looked to be in danger of missing the cut.

McGinley, who used Fitzgerald as his own bag man for six years, is puzzled by the timing of the separation, with the final major of the season, the US PGA Championship, starting next week.

He told the Irish Examiner: “Rory is very much his own man and makes his own decisions.”

“Nine years is way past what the average would be so they have survived a long time together in the high-pressure atmosphere at the top of the world rankings. They have won four majors and I think they can both walk away with their heads held high. It is one of those things that happen. Is there a player-caddie relationship that has lasted a whole career.

“The timing is surprising. He’s obviously got his reasons. I don’t know what they are so I don’t want to be critical of him. I haven’t spoken to him. I don’t know what his reasons are. Going into the last major of the year, it’s surprising that he has made this decision going into a major on a golf course (Quail Hollow, Charlotte, North Carolina, for the PGA Championship next week) on which he has won twice with JP.”

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