Justin Rose to have longtime caddie on bag for Masters after heart surgery

Mark “Fooch” Fulcher, Justin Rose’s longtime caddie, will be back on the Englishman’s bag in time for the Masters after passing a fitness test following his heart surgery.

Fulcher hasn’t looped for Rose since mid-January but didn’t say much about his operation, noting that, “It’s not about me, it’s all about the boss.”

Rose was asked about Fulcher during a Monday news conference at Augusta National ahead of this week’s Masters.

“Where Fooch is going to earn his money is and earn his position on the bag and earn his importance on the team is on Saturday and Sunday. Basically when emotion start to get more tense,” Rose said. “I think I’m very comfortable if I had anybody caddie for me Thursday, Friday, we’d be in good shape. It’s when the going gets tough, I think that’s when having someone who knows you so well and we have so many positive experiences we can draw on together, that’s where Fooch is going to come into his own for me.”

Justin Rose finished runner-up a the Masters in 2015 and 2017. (Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports)

Rose has played well without Fulcher, logging three top-10 finishes, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open, his second event without Fulcher on the bag. The world’s No. 2-ranked player told The Sun that he thinks Fulcher looks, and feels, back to normal ahead of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club this week.

“After my (WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play match) with Eddie Pepperell, Fooch came up to me and said if his ticker could handle this, it could take anything,” said Rose, according to The Sun. “He carried the bag for me when I was (practicing) on the Monday and Tuesday at Austin, nine holes each time, and made it look easy.”

Rose explained how it was important for Fulcher to get back in the routine at last month’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before getting to Augusta.

“It was also important for him to get back out on Tour, see all his mates and get all the hellos and the backslapping out of the way before he carries the bag at the Masters,” Rose said. “This week, we want it to be all about business. So from that point of view it was important for him to be there at Austin.”

Rose will look for his first Masters win this week after previously finishing as high as the runner-up 2015 and 2017.

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