Dustin Johnson, caddie part ways after 3 years

Dustin Johnson celebrates with his caddie Bobby Brown after winning the BMW Championship on Sept. 12, 2010.

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Four-time PGA Tour winner Dustin Johnson has split with his caddie of about three years, Bobby Brown.

“I think it was quite mutual, and I feel certain their close friendship will remain unchanged,” said Johnson’s manager, David Winkle. “I guess only time will tell if their break proves to be

temporary or permanent.”

Johnson will return to competition next week at the Ballantine’s Championship in Seoul, South Korea. He will use a “more than qualified” friend as a caddie, Winkle said.

It might be several weeks before Johnson, one of golf’s best young players, decides on a new caddie. Several people already have applied and more are certain to express interest once word of the split spreads.

The goal is to find the “right person for the long haul,” Winkle said. “More than likely, Dustin will have a trial run with a few different guys before making any decisions. Just as with any player-

caddie relationship, it’s not just about experience and caddying skills, but also about chemistry.”

Johnson, 26, and Brown, 48, hooked up in 2008, in the middle of the player’s rookie season. The two have characterized their relationship as one of close friends and even “brothers.” Brown is

said to be dating the sister of Johnson’s girlfriend.

Johnson and Brown became a high-profile golf duo during the past year in part because of some dramatic moments: Johnson's final-round collapse at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach; his grounding of a club in a bunker and subsequent penalty on the 72nd hole at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and a near missed tee time at the Northern Trust Open this year.

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