Rory McIlroy faced the media in Akron, Ohio, at Firestone Country Club on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since news of the four-time major winner ending his nine-year run with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald earlier this week.
"Sometimes to preserve a personal relationship you might have to sacrifice a professional one and that was sort of the decision I came to," said McIlroy, also revealing that he broke the news to Fitzgerald the Tuesday after the Open Championship.
So what was the reason for the split?
"I got to the point where if I didn't play a good shot or made a wrong decision I was getting more frustrated with him than myself," he admitted.
Despite the split, McIlroy explained that Fitzgerald will remain a close friend and didn't rule out a future for the two on the course.
"J.P. has been a huge part of my life for the last decade and I still consider him one of my best friends," McIlroy said.
As for the immediate future, McIlroy's longtime best friend -- Harry Diamond from Northern Ireland, who was also the best man at McIlroy's recent wedding -- will assume the caddie duties.
McIlroy wouldn't go so far as to call these next two weeks -- the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational or the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow -- an "audition" for Diamond, saying the decision to stay on will be up to Diamond who has business back in Northern Ireland.
McIlroy is hoping two successful weeks could make it difficult for his friend to give up the loop.
Experts on the business and game of golf. The best coaching tips and latest golf news delivered straight to you. Sign Up to get the latest.