After a partnership spanning the entirety of his professional career, Jason Day has parted company with caddie Colin Swatton.
The Aussie has made the change effective this week at the BMW Championship, with friend and former roommate at Hills International College in Australia, Luke Reardon, taking over duties.
From what I'm hearing this is a permanent change and not a 1-week deal for @JDayGolf to Luke Reardon on bag, will confirm w/J Day today— George Savaricas (@GeorgeSavaricas) September 13, 2017
It brings to an end a lengthy partnership which started before Day turned professional in July 2006. The pair knew each other long before that, though, as Swatton was the Aussie's golf coach from the age of 12.
Day confirmed ahead of the BMW Championship that Swatton will continue in that role and used his pre-tournament press conference to explain how tough it was to make the decision.
“He was obviously a little bit shocked and disappointed," said Day, who has managed just four top tens all year. "I talked to him for about 25 minutes to an hour last week. Obviously he needed some time just going over things, understand my feelings and what I wanted to try to accomplish in my career as a player and then obviously trying to get his feelings as well.
“It was hard because we've been a team for so long. We've been really tight and being so close for very long and we're still close. It's just, he's coming off the bag and going to more of a coaching role now.
“With that being said, he's not out of my world one bit. As a player-caddie all I do is see him at the golf course. I never spoke to him in off weeks.
“Now, I'm able to actually go out and hang out with him a lot more. I'm hoping that things move forward with us and like they always have and always will be because we're both very close. We love each other like family and looking forward to the future.”
The 29-year-old credits Swatton as being a 'father figure' following the death of his own father when he was 12 and paid tribute to his caddie following his breakthrough major title at the 2015 US PGA Championship.
"He's been there for me since I was 12-and-a-half," he said after winning at Whistling Straits. "I mean, he's taken me from a kid that was getting in fights at home and getting drunk at 12 and not heading in the right direction, to a major champion.
"There's not many coaches that can say that in many sports. So, he means the world to me. I love him to death."
Day's split with Swatton is the latest in a number of high profile player-caddie break-ups in 2017. In April, Jonathan Smart left 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett. In June, Phil Mickelson parted with Jim 'Bones' Mackay after 25 years together and in late July, Rory McIlroy announced he'd split with long-time bagman J.P. Fitzgerald.