McIlroy has fired Fitzgerald after a nine-year partnership which included winning four majors.
Just a week earlier, McIlroy thanked Fitzgerald for berating him into shape during the first round of the British Open. A run of bogeys to begin the tournament left McIlroy four over par and floundering. Fitzgerald let the fourth-ranked player in the world have it.
“You’re Rory McIlroy. What are you doing?” Fitzgerald was quoted as saying, although the real dialogue surely included much saltier language and a few well-placed adjectives.
McIlroy credited Fitzgerald for turning around his fortunes at the Open as he rebounded from that start to finish the week five under par. As it turns out, that’s the last tournament the two will have worked together.
Fitzgerald, who took the job when McIlroy was ranked 150th in the world and hadn’t yet won a pro tournament, has also caddied for Paul McKinley, Darren Clarke and Ernie Els.
Working for McIlroy has been a lucrative gig for Fitzgerald. Forbes estimated the caddie had earned $1.65 million from his cut of McIlroy’s prize money over the 12 months to June of this year. The magazine, in an article about caddies’ pay, said Fitzgerald earned $1.48 million in 2014.
McIlroy, who originally signed to play at ETSU before turning professional instead, will talk to the media on Wednesday before the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.
Fitzgerald wasn’t the only former ETSU golfer making news, although the news was much better for Seamus Power.
Power, in his first year on the PGA Tour, earned his first top-10 finish on Sunday with a final-round 66 in the Canadian Open.
That finish moved Power to 126th on the FedEx Cup points list. The top 125 make the playoffs and retain their PGA Tour cards for next year, and Power will have two more tournaments to move into that group.
In 23 tournaments this year, Power has earned $609,746. He’s only missed six cuts this year and has moved up to 291st in the official world golf rankings.