Justin Rose's caddie Mark Fulcher steps down to recover from heart surgery

English golfer Justin Rose with former caddie Mark Fulcher
Mark Fulcher (left) has stepped away from his role following health issues

Justin Rose has parted with long-time caddie Mark Fulcher, who needs further time to recover from heart surgery.

Fulcher, Rose's assistant since 2008, had an operation in January to replace a heart valve.

He was alongside the current world number three when he won his golf major, the 2013 US Open, and then Olympic gold at the 2016 Rio Games.

"I wish him all the best as he works on getting 100% fit and healthy," the Olympic champion said on Twitter.

"I also have no doubt that we will stride up a 72nd hole late on a Sunday afternoon together in the future."

Fulcher - nicknamed Fooch - celebrated eight PGA Tour victories with Rose, who clinched last year's FedEx Cup and ascended the top of the world rankings for a total of 12 weeks during their partnership.

Having taken a break from caddie duties following his operation at the start of the year, Fulcher returned to work with his fellow Englishman at The Masters in April.

Rose missed the halfway cut there and finished in a disappointing share of 29th place at this month's PGA Championship in New York.

Fulcher says he needs more time to fully recover and Rose has turned to Gareth Lord, who performed the bag duties earlier this year.

Lord, who previously worked for Rose's Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson, was at the English player's side when he won at Torrey Pines in late January.

"After an amazing 11 years with Fooch, our successful run together has finished for now," Rose said.

"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."

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