Shane Lowry splits with Open-winning caddie after loss of his competitive ‘spark’
The split with Martin was confirmed by Lowry's management company Horizon Sports Management last night
Shane Lowry is urgently searching for a new caddie in Ryder Cup year after an amicable split with Brian "Bo" Martin last weekend.
The Offaly man teamed up with Martin at the Portugal Masters in 2018 and after ending a three-and-a-half-year drought at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in 2019, the bearded duo formed a tight bond with the highlights their six-stroke win in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019 and last September's bogey-free BWM PGA Championship win at Wentworth.
The split with Martin was confirmed by Lowry's management company Horizon Sports Management last night and the Irish Independent understands the pair had been considering the move for several weeks, believing their near four-and-a-half-year relationship had lost its "spark" or "chemistry".
There were signs of tension between the pair at the Masters last year, when Lowry was caught on TV taking his caddie to task in a four-lettered rant over a misclubbing incident on the 13th hole in the third round.
Sources close to the pair confirmed that Lowry's erratic start to the season confirmed a loss of "mojo" between the pair in the heat of battle.
The Clara man was the only player who failed to score as he lost all four matches in the Hero Cup as Great Britain and Ireland lost to Continental Europe by four points.
They discussed the possibility of a split after that event and again after the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where Lowry went into the final round tied for the lead but carded a final round 76 to finish nine shots behind winner Victor Perez.
Last week's missed cut in the Hero Dubai Desert delivered the coup de grace to a professional relationship that brought wins in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and the Open in 2019 and the BMW PGA Championship last year.
However, it leaves Lowry urgently seeking a replacement for a hugely important five-in-a-row week run from next week when he plays the WM Phoenix Open, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, the Honda Classic, the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the Players Championship at Sawgrass for combined purses of $93.4 million.
"Bo has been incredible the last year," Lowry said after his Open win in 2019. "He started caddying for me about September last year, and just when I started to play well again. So he's just, like, he's brought a new lease on life to me. He is so thrilled.
"He was unbelievable today. He kept on my back all day, kept talking to me, he kept in my ear. I kept on telling him how nervous I was, how scared I was, how much I didn't want to mess it up, how that I can't -- all I could think about was walking down 18 with a four- or five-shot lead. And lucky I got to do that.
"But, yeah, he was great at keeping me in the moment today. He's been great for me. Like I said, you see my results since then have been good.
"I've known Bo a long time. He's now become a very good friend of mine. And to be able to share it with someone so close was very special."
The pair will remain close but Lowry now needs a caddie for a year in which he has targeted retaining his Ryder Cup place and winning back the trophy in Rome as his number one goals.
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