Els denies split with caddie is long-term

ERNIE ELS has denied that his split with caddie and friend Ricci Roberts is either acrimonious or long-term.

A British newspaper spoke of Els and Roberts, who have been together for more than a decade barring a short break in 1999, parting company because of the South African’s recent run of poor results.

However, on Wednesday, Els, who has taken on Sam Torrance’s veteran long-time bagman Malcolm Mason just for this week’s WGC American Express Championship, explained the move via his management company.

Assistant manager Mark Bell said: “Ernie is particularly insistent on pointing out that the short split with Ricci, which may only be for a month, is borne out of friendship and nothing else.

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