News that Phil Mickelson and his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay are parting ways after 25 years of work together came as a shock earlier this week.
Amid the shock and sadness, plenty are asking if something more precipitated the split. And while we known Phil’s brother, Tim Mickelson, will carry the left-hander’s bag, it’s unclear what the future holds for Mackay.
While we ponder these questions, it’s fitting to look back on what the two have accomplished: Mackay worked for Mickelson for 41 of his 42 PGA Tour wins, five major championship victories, 11 Ryder Cups and 11 Presidents Cups.
Beyond mere black letter statistics, the unique thing about this duo was their on-course rapport, which the PGA Tour’s Skratch TV has detailed wonderfully in this “in memoriam” style video.
The spot includes everything from Bones tending the flagstick on a 70-yard shot at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2011, to Bones holding an umbrella over his partner’s head as he did a post-round interview, to Bones falling to the green in a dejected crawl as Mickelson’s putt for 59 lipped out at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The piano score may be a tad melodramatic for some, but hey, it’s a sad occasion for many: one of the constants of the PGA Tour has dissolved. The Mickelson-Mackay duo is no more.
Phil and Bones: 1992 – 2017 pic.twitter.com/tOeEqaT3Sy
— Skratch (@Skratch) June 20, 2017
Perhaps they weren’t the first truly collaborative duos on the PGA Tour, but the Bones-Phil relationship symbolized the modern player-caddie tactical relationship. Mickelson, ever analytical and given to overthinking needed someone he could bounce ideas off of on course, Mackay was that man for 25 years. It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic between Phil and brother Tim when he returns to the course.