After 25 years, Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay are parting ways

One of the longest and most significant player-caddie partnerships has come to an end. After 25 years together, Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay are parting ways.

Mickelson and Mackay have won five major championships together and tasted victory a total of 41 times on the PGA Tour. No Laying Up tweeted this statement from Bones:

…and followed it 10 minutes later with this from Phil Mickelson.

Not much to read between the lines here: Mutual split, been together forever, not prompted by any one incident.

Interestingly, it sounds like Bones, who had both his knees replaced prior to this season, may find another bag to carry. This would shoot down the most probable reason for the split: Carrying a 50-pound bag 30 weeks per year on surgically replaced knees in a 50-some year-old body got to be too much for Mackay.

Famous Caddie-Player Duos:

And now for some speculation about the “vetoes” in question. Two thoughts. Mackay was afforded one tournament per year he didn’t want to caddie and thus the pair would skip. Or, more likely, Mackay is allotted one “veto” of Mickelson’s decision per year. Say, 6-iron versus 7-iron. If the caddie is determined the 7 is the right choice while his player feels differently, he can use his veto to override the player decision.

A couple of other interesting notes: Mackay’s last action on the PGA Tour carrying Mickelson’s bag was scouting Erin Hills on the off chance his man would show up to play. It’s a curious final act.

Also interesting, while some reports indicated, Bones/Mickelson circulated a statement to reporters, the only place anyone is sourcing the news to is the aforementioned No Laying Up tweet. Surely, this represents a point of frustration for the mainstream golf outlets.

NLU, which started as a couple of buddies offering hot takes on the Tour and discussing the many varieties of Toursauce, has had Bones on their podcast in the past. If they are indeed the original news-breakers, it’s a significant coup for the upstart golf media.

Lefty hasn’t missed a cut this season in 15 PGA Tour starts. He has recorded four top-10 finishes, including a ninth-place finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in his most recent start. This was with Bones on the bag, so the question is how will Phil perform without him?

Mickelson’s brother, Tim is slated to carry the bag for the rest of the season. Tim Mickelson was formerly Arizona State’s golf coach before leaving to work as Jon Rahm’s agent. He filled in for Bones when the looper was ill in Mexico at the WGC event last year.

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