Justin Rose, the former world number one, and caddy Mark Fulcher have announced they are parting ways in order to allow the bagman more time to recover from heart surgery.
Rose and Fooch—the name Mark Fulcher is affectionately known by on tour—have been a partnership since 2008 and the relationship was one which bore fruitful results including a major victory, Olympic gold, triumph in the season-ending FedEx Series and the world-number-one ranking.
But the pair will split on amicable terms with Mark Fulcher needing more time to recuperate from surgery on a heart valve which he underwent at the start of the year.
In a Twitter post announcing the parting of the way, Rose said he expects to team up with Mark Fulcher in future years when the caddy is back to full health—underlining that this is anything but a falling out.
Posting a statement on Twitter to accompany the words “11 amazing years,” current world number three Rose said: “After an amazing 11 years with Fooch, our successful run together has finished for now.
“Fooch is required to take an indefinite leave of absence from caddying to focus on his health and wellbeing after the heart procedure earlier this year. He has been medically advised that further period of recuperation is required.”
— Justin ROSE (@JustinRose99) May 28, 2019
Rose added: “I wish him all the best as he works on getting 100% fit and healthy. I also have no doubt that we will stride up a 72nd hole late on a Sunday afternoon together in the future.”
Mark Fulcher missed the first three months of the 2019 season after undergoing surgery, sitting out six events in total, but was back working as Rose’s caddy at The Masters at Augusta in April. It wasn’t a happy return as the pair missed the cut in the year’s first major.
Rose has subsequently finished third in the Wells Fargo Championship, T29 in the USPGA Championship and T58 in the Fort Worth Invitational last weekend, after which Fulcher has relinquished his role.
Fulcher was Rose’s caddy for eight of his 10 PGA Tour victories, seven European Tour wins and two other victories. The pair also sat in the number one spot as the world’s best golfer for a total of 12 weeks.
The biggest moments together came in the 2013 US Open when Rose became a major champion at Merion, while they also won the first-ever golf gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and lifted the FedEx Cup in 2018 to finish as PGA Tour champion for the season.
Gareth Lord, who had worked with Henrik Stenson for the majority of his career as a caddy, was on Rose’s bag during the early part of the year in Fulcher’s absence. That included victory together in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, a win Rose dedicated to Fulcher at the time.
Lord will step back into the role, starting with the Memorial at Muirfield Village, while Mark Fulcher recuperates at home on medical advice.