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Molinari splits with caddie, tabs ex-Rose looper for 2020

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Former Open champ Francesco Molinari has split with caddie Pello Iguaran and will begin next year with a looper who has some experience when it comes to advising a European major champ.

Molinari and Iguaran have been together for the last four years, a tenure which notably included the Italian's breakthrough 2018 campaign. Last year, Molinari won three times worldwide, including the BMW PGA Championship and The Open Championship, before making Ryder Cup history by going 5-0-0 in Paris.

Molinari added another win this year at Bay Hill and carried the lead into the back nine at the Masters. But he faded to a T-5 result and hasn't factored often since, going his last 11 starts since April without a top-10 finish. He missed the cut at last week's Italian Open in his most recent outing.

"It's been nearly 4 seasons of incredible emotions and really productive work, but unfortunately relationships sometimes come to an end, even if it's not what we wish for," Molinari wrote on Twitter. "Pello will always be a member of my team and more importantly my family. He's one of the most hard-working, loyal, positive, reflective people I've come across during my career."

Molinari turns 37 next month, and he announced that he will have Jason Hempleman on the bag through the end of the 2019 season. But starting next year those duties will transfer to Mark Fulcher, who notably spent 11 years caddying for former world No. 1 Justin Rose.

Fulcher was sidelined earlier this year because of heart surgery, but after returning to Rose's bag at the Masters, the two announced another split in June to allow Fulcher to "focus on his health and well-being." Rose has since turned to Gareth Lord, who had previously worked for another European major winner, Henrik Stenson.

Molinari is expected to next play at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.