After 25 years together, Phil Mickelson and his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, are mutually parting ways, according to a statement Mackay gave on Tuesday.
Mackay had walked the course and carried a bag all over the world with Mickelson, including all five of Lefty’s major championship victories, and 41 of his 42 career PGA Tour wins.
Here is the statement from Bones:
After an amazing, 25-year run, Phil and I have mutually decided to go our separate ways. Player-caddie relationships don’t often last that long. I will always be grateful that I was around to witness so much of Phil’s career.
When Phil hired me in 1992, I had one dream: to caddie in a Ryder Cup. Last year, at Hazeltine, Phil played in his 11th straight Ryder Cup. It was so cool to have a front row seat.
I wish Phil nothing but the best. His game is still at an elite level, and when he wins in the future (definitely the Masters), I will be among the first to congratulate him.
I do want to say for the record that I did not use my “veto” this year. I would like to pass it along to Tim, in all its glory.
Thank you Phil,
Jim Bones Mackay
Mackay and Mickelson have one of the most iconic relationships of any player-caddie pairing one could find on the course. Mickelson is known for taking chances, and thus the duo would often get into heated discussions about just how crazy a particular strategy was. Sometimes these discussions would get picked up by microphones, much to the delight of golf fans everywhere.
The “veto” that Mackay refers to in his statement alludes to these often contentious debates — Mickelson is said to have given Mackay one veto per year, where Mackay can override Mickelson’s decision on a shot no matter what the situation. Mackay offers his unused veto to Tim, Phil’s brother who has filled in for Mackay when he was sick and will presumably be taking over the role of Phil’s caddie for at least the near future.
The news comes as especially shocking as the duo had planned to work together as recently as last weekend. While Mickelson was unlikely to be able to make the U.S. Open due to his daughter’s graduation, he still sent Mackay to Erin Hills to scout the course on the off-chance that his start time was delayed long enough for him to make the opening tee.
Mickelson is expected to make his next start at The Greenbrier Classic next month.
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