World No. 1 Justin Rose begins his 2019 campaign at this week's Desert Classic. But while the biggest news surrounding his PGA Tour return has involved his big equipment change during the off-season, there will be another noticeable difference involving who is carrying that equipment around.
No, this isn't another high-profile player-caddie breakup, but Rose will be without the services of his longtime bagman, Mark Fulcher, for the foreseeable future. Fulcher announced on Twitter he will undergo heart surgery, a procedure that will take place on Thursday in New York City, according to Golf Channel's George Savaricas.
But Rose will be in good hands with Gareth Lord, who formerly caddied for Henrik Stenson until the two parted ways in November. Stenson is making his 2019 debut in Abu Dhabi this week with Scott Vail on his bag.
Lord caddied for Stenson since 2013, including being part of the Swede's lone major title at the 2016 Open Championship. He is quite familiar with Rose and Fulcher, in part from the successful Rose-Stenson pairing at the past three Ryder Cups.
Fulcher was on the bag for Rose's 2013 U.S. Open win, his 2016 Olympic Gold Medal, and his recent FedEx Cup title and rise to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. We wish him a speedy recovery.