Caddie JP Fitzgerald: "Rory is very special, he has that little edge"

Caddie JP Fitzgerald: "Rory is very special, he has that little edge"

Rory McIlroy's Claret Jug was filled with Jägermeister as he celebrated his victory in The Open on Sunday night. But the next few years could be even more explosive than a few drops of the 70-proof German booze.

With the likes of Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer winning majors and young guns like Jordan Spieth coming through, McIlroy will face some serious rivals for dominance over the next decade.

Rory McIlroy's close friend, Harry Diamond and his mother Rosie, celebrate with the Claret Jug.

Pointing to runner up finishes by Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, McIlroy’s caddie JP Fitzgerald said: "It is very close now at the top with a lot of guys up there. There are so many good players up there.

"When you see Rickie and you see Sergio coming at you, there is very little that separates these top players."

McIlroy put one hand on The Open when he eagled two of his last three holes to take a six-shot lead into Sunday.

But bagman Fitzgerald, who has caddied for Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley, Open winner Darren Clarke and four-time major champion Ernie Els, reckons McIlroy has the X-factor.

He said: "He is very special and he has that little edge.

"I've been coming to The Open Championship for quite a number of years so to be right beside Rory to witness that is something you will always remember. He was excellent. 

"You will always hit wayward shots and bad shots and it's disappointing when things don't come off the way you want them to.

"But you always do your best to make your par and move on.

"He made two eagles last night and he wins by two, so that's the difference."

Asked if carrying the bag was a burden, he said: "It hasn't felt heavy for a few years with this guy."