Wanted: New bagman for Dustin Johnson

After some major on-course gaffes, Dustin Johnson and his caddy of three years have split. Golf Digest’s Tim Rosaforte reported Tuesday that Johnson and Bobby Brown parted amicably and that Johnson’s rules meltdown at last year’s PGA Championship and late arrival to the tee at the 2011 Northern Trust Open had nothing to do with the breakup.

“This is part of the game and we both understand that,” Brown told Rosaforte.

As Rosaforte pointed out, Johnson never publicly blamed his caddy for his errors. One has to wonder, however, if the blunders were the real reason for the dissolution of the relationship — especially, as Rosaforte noted, considering the timing of the separation, a third of the way through the season.

Johnson would likely prefer to make headlines for winning golf tourneys than for bone-headed bloopers and off-course issues like a DUI and purported relationship with the LPGA’s telegenic Natalie Gulbis. Perhaps he believes hooking up with a new looper will help him add to the four victories he and Brown compiled since the golfer’s 2008 rookie year and put his checkered past behind him.

Just who will be on the bag is up in the air at this point and may include a few contestants until Johnson settles on a permanent bagman.

“This isn’t about finding a replacement as quickly as possible,” Johnson’s agent David Winkle told Rosaforte an email. “It’s about finding the right person for the long term. More than likely, Dustin will have a trial run with a few different guys before making any decisions. Just as with any player/caddy relationship, it’s not just about experience and caddying skills, but also about chemistry.”

About that chemistry issue? That could get interesting, since, according to Rosaforte, Brown is involved with the sister of Johnson’s girlfriend, who is not Gulbis. Johnson apparently went back to Amanda Caulder after the whole Gulbis incident blew over, Rosaforte said.

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