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Padraig Harrington fires caddie

WANTED: a top caddie to travel the world with Padraig Harrington, one of golf’s top players.

The Ryder Cup star ended a five-year partnership with Dave McNeilly when he finished second - for the 22nd time in his career - at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Heidelberg yesterday.

Close friend Ronan Flood, an assistant bank manager, is taking on the job in the short term, starting with the Memorial Tournament on the US Tour next week.

But Harrington said, after losing a thrilling duel with South African Trevor Immelman: "I am going to look around and towards the end of the year I will possibly look to try out some caddies.

"Most of the good ones in my eyes are all working at the moment, but by then I will know if a break was all I needed from Dave or whether another caddie is the way to go.

"We have been a very good team (they won nine times and Harrington earned more than £7million), but things do go stale and I feel I need something new, something fresh, something different.

"We have not really been working on the same wavelength for the past couple of months. I decided to finish after the Masters and I told Dave a couple of weeks ago. It came as a shock to him and I was surprised at that. It is tough to part in circumstances like that, but I feel it is time."

Harrington fired a superb 66 in the final round at St Leon-Rot, but as has happened to him so often somebody else played a little bit better.

Immelman’s 65 was the low round of the day and he won when he made a seven-footer on the last for his seventh birdie and defending champion Harrington, having also had seven birdies, then missed from ten feet.

"I would rather have shot 72 and won," said the Irishman. "Next week or in six months’ time nobody will remember that 66. It’s going to be another second place."

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