Shane Lowry and caddie Brian “Bo” Martin have decided to end their working relationship.
Martin had been on Lowry’s bag for a little more than four years having first shared the fairways at the 2018 Portugal Masters, but reports suggest the pair have been thinking about separating for several weeks and the Irishman’s management company confirmed the decision as amicable.
Martin helped Lowry end his three-and-a-half-year wait for a title when they lifted the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January 2019, before going on to claim a six-shot win at The Open at Royal Portrush later that summer.
Other highlights of the partnership include Lowry’s Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits in 2021, and a bogey-free BMW PGA Championship victory at Wentworth a year later.
Reports suggest that Lowry’s recent poor form saw the pair lose their “spark”, which has led to the split. You might remember a clip that did the rounds during last year’s Masters when Lowry let rip with an expletive-ridden tirade at his bagman following a misclubbing incident.
More recently, Lowry was the only player not to score a single point at the Hero Cup earlier this month, and a week later the 35-year-old went into the final round tied for the lead in Abu Dhabi only to card a 76 on Sunday and finish nine back of winner Victor Perez.
Lowry will have to act quick on a replacement, with a five-week run on the PGA Tour that takes in the Phoenix Open, the Genesis Invitational, the Honda Class, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship all on his schedule.
After that it’s straight into the major season before the Ryder Cup in Rome.
The pair will remain friends, though, and Lowry will always owe a lot to the man who was by his side for the best spell of his career to date.
After breaking his major duck in Northern Ireland, Lowry said Martin “has been incredible the last year”.
He added: “He’s brought a new lease of life to me. He is so thrilled. 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.”
It was a long way from the previous year’s Open, where Lowry had sacked caddie Dermot Byrne after the opening round at Carnoustie before breaking down in tears following a fourth straight missed cut at golf’s oldest major.
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?