Golf: Rory McIlroy's caddy is US$1m richer after taking 10% of golfer's winnings

Rory McIlroy (left) of Northern Ireland celebrates alongside his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald after holing a shot for eagle on the 16th hole during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy (left) of Northern Ireland celebrates alongside his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald after holing a shot for eagle on the 16th hole during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. PHOTO: AFP

As a caddy for former world No.1 golfer Rory McIlroy, Mr JP Fitzgerald sees plenty of green on the golf course.

It seems he sees his fair share of greenbacks too. Thanks to the generosity of McIlroy, he has landed a windfall of slightly over US$1 million (S$1.39 million).

This was after the golfer earned a cool US$9 million for winning the FedEx Cup last month, which he achieved by claiming the US$1.53 million Tour Championship.

Mr Fitzgerald collected 10 per cent of the winnings as the four-time major winner's caddy, reported CNN.

"I think his words were, 'A tsunami just hit my bank account, so thank you very much,'" shared McIlory ahead of the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China. "So the total was $1.05 million. I think he was quite happy."

"He deserved it, he's a big part of what we do," added the 27-year-old McIlroy. "He was with me when I was No. 210 in the world and when I was No. 1."

The caddy life does not seem to be a bad one.

Mr Steve Williams, who used to be the golf caddy to Tiger Woods, was said to be worth up to US$20 million. This reportedly made him New Zealand's highest-paid sportsman, according to CNN.

Mr Williams' caddying funded his racing team named Caddyshack, which won the national Super Saloon car champion in the 2006 Speedway Racing competition.

However, a caddy's life can also be less glamourous.

Mr Terry Mundy, who has caddied for former women's world No.1 Laura Davies and two-time PGA Tour winner Ian Poulter, said one's earnings depends on the player's fortunes.

"You go to those flyaway tournaments and you're easily spending US$1,000 on a flight," he said. "And then there's the hotel. If your player misses the cut, you're out of pocket for that week."

The HSBC Champions event tees off at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Thursday (Oct 27). The US$9.5 million purse is on par with what McIlroy pocketed at the FedEx Cup a few weeks ago.

Mr Fitzgerald might have to brace himself for another 'tsunami' should McIlroy win the event.