8am Round-Up: Rory McIlroy reported to have sacked his caddie

Rory McIlroy and JP Fitzgerald walk down the fairway in the recent Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Rory McIlroy and JP Fitzgerald walk down the fairway in the recent Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Rory McIlroy is reported to have sacked long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald despite heaping praise on him during the recent Open Championship

A story by Reuters claims the pair’s nine-year relationship is over, with McIlroy set to have a new caddie on his big at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Fitzgerald started with McIlroy soon after he turned professional and helped the Northern Irishman win four majors and also become world No 1.

The reported split comes less than a fortnight after the 28-year-old publicly thanked Fitzgerald for getting him going in The Open after being four-over following just five holes at Royal Birkdale.

“He said to me, ‘You’re Rory McIlroy, what the f*** are you doing?” revealed McIlroy after recovering to salvage a 71 then going on to finish joint-fourth.

“At that point, I just mumbled and replied, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ But it definitely helped. He reminded me who I was, what I was capable of.”

Phil Mickelson recently parted ways with his caddie, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, after a 25-year partnership that netted the American five major titles.

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Richie Ramsay is closing in on a return to the world’s top 100 after his string of strong performances in July.

The 34-year-old started the month sitting 341st in the global standings but is up to 139th in the latest updated positions this morning.

He’s jumped 12 spots on the back of finishing joint-eighth in the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, having already made climbs following the Irish Open, Scottish Open and The Open.

Ramsay, who picked up earnings of close to £620,000 during the month, was last in the top 100 towards the end of the 2015 season.

His next event will be a return to Germany for the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play from 17-20 August.

Meanwhile, Russell Knox has just cling on to his world top-50 spot after dropping one place, with Martin Laird sitting 93rd after he went up one spot.

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Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas birdied the first hole of a play-off to successfully defend his RBC Canadian Open title.

He 32-year-old to a foot on the par-5 18th and Charley Hoffman’s birdie attempt from the back bunker slid past the hole to give Vegas victory.

“It’s been a special day,” he said afterwards, having closed with a seven-under 65 to finish alongside overnight leader Hoffman on 21-under.

“I knew that I had to shoot a good round today to have a chance to win again. I just came out with an aggressive mentality, just feeling really good about my game.”

Hoffman, who took a one-shot lead into the final round, birdied the 18th for a 68 to force the play-off.

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Former Scottish Amateur champion Chris Robb leads heading into the second round of the Pro Golf Tour’s Polish Open.

It follows the Meldrum House player opening with a five-under-par 67 in the event at Sierra Golf Club.

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Borderer Tara Mactaggart won the 36-hole Mackie Bowl at Gullane by four shots.

The Minto player carded rounds of 69 and 71 for an eight-under-par total.