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Rose's caddie to take 'indefinite' medical leave

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Former world No. 1 golfer Justin Rose announced on Tuesday that his longtime caddie, Mark "Fooch" Fulcher, is taking an indefinite leave of absence to continue his recovery from heart surgery, ending their 11-year partnership for now.

Gareth Lord, who helped Rose win the Farmers Insurance Open in January, will be back on his bag starting at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club this week.

"After an amazing 11 years with Fooch, our successful run together has finished for now, as Fooch is required to take an indefinite leave of absence from caddying to focus on his health and well being after the heart procedure earlier this year," Rose said in a statement posted to social media. "He has been medically advised that a further period of recuperation is required.

"I wish him all the best as he works on getting 100% fit and healthy. I also have no doubts that we will stride up a 72nd hole late on a Sunday afternoon together in the future."

Fulcher had surgery in mid-January to repair the mitral valve in his heart, which allows blood to flow from one chamber to the other. He missed the first four months of 2019, before returning in April to carry Rose's bag at the Masters, where the Englishman missed the cut.

Rose finished tied for third at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month, but then tied for 29th at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black and tied for 58th at last week's Charles Schwab Challenge.

Fulcher helped Rose win the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and last season's FedEx Cup title.

Lord had been working with Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen since Fulcher's return.