Spieth's Open success not a factor in McIlroy's caddie split

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Rory McIlroy insists Jordan Spieth's Open success that left the American on the brink of Grand Slam glory did not speed up his decision to sever ties with long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald.

The world number four confirmed his surprise split with Fitzgerald on Wednesday, after a nine-year relationship that yielded four major titles.

However, the last of those came in 2014 at the US PGA Championship and the Northern Irishman has failed in his past three attempts to complete his own career Grand Slam, with victory at the Masters proving elusive.

Spieth won a dramatic Open title after recovering from losing a three-shot lead during the final round at Royal Birkdale to defeat Matt Kuchar, meaning he can complete the Slam at the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow next week.

But McIlroy is adamant that Spieth's triumph had no bearing on his decision.

Speaking ahead of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, he said: "Obviously, Jordan has a great chance next week at doing it. It'd be great for the game. 

"Tiger [Woods] did it at 24 and Jordan has a chance to do it, which is historic in itself. 

"There wasn't any sense of urgency, my chance doesn't come until April next year. 

"I can play well next week, but if Jordan plays better then he plays better. 

"If he does it then I take my hat off to him. He's great for the sport, I sent him a text after the Open telling him that. 

"There's no sense of urgency, it'd be nice if both of us did it in 2018, but we'll see how it goes."

Besides Woods, there are four other plays to have won all four majors in the Masters era, with Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen completing the elite list.