Aug 2nd, 2017
Why Rory McIlroy fired JP Fitzgerald
After 9 years and 4 majors
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy parted company with JP on Monday, after working with him for nine years, and winning four majors, although none since 2014.
He said: "sometimes to preserve a personal relationship you have to sacrifice a professional one" .
"JP has been a huge part of my life for the past decade, but I was getting very hard on him at times. You don't want to be like that with anyone but sometimes this game drives you to it.
"I would say he is still one of my closest friends. We started together in 2008, we've had a lot of great times on and off the golf course.
"There's nothing to say JP won't work with me again at some point, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. It was a really tough decision.
"I hate the term fired or axed, it definitely wasn't what it was. I changed my path a little bit but it was just a build–up of stuff, I felt I needed to make that change."
The move came a week after McIlroy praised JP at the Open at Royal Birkdale, saying the caddie had delivered some blunt words after e had started the tournament with a string of bogeys.
After fighting back to shoot a one-over 71 in the first round, McIlroy told reporters Fitzgerald had done a "great job" by giving him a "good talking to".
McIlroy will now use childhood friend Harry Diamond at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio and at next week's PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.
He has yet to make a long–term decision about his future bagman.
"I just needed someone that knew me and that's why I took Harry for the next couple of weeks," he said.
"If something doesn't work out and Harry and I say two weeks is enough I'll need to find someone else but I've got 10 days between the end of the PGA and the start of the Northern Trust to do that."
Well, a change is as good as a rest, and today has seen Rory fly out of the traps with a four under through 15, to lie T2, one shots behind the leader Adam Scott. It really looks like Rory means business this time. Quail Hollow beware. Expect fireworks!