Ryder Cup: Commentator says Rory McIlroy has been ‘scapegoat’
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Phil Mickelson’s long-term caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay will now take to the bag for another star on the PGA Tour, after it was announced he would become the full-time caddie of Justin Thomas.
Mackay enjoyed a glittering 25-year career alongside Mickelson, winning five majors – including three Masters and one British Open – during his period with the 45-time PGA Tour winner.
Following his time with the current PGA Championship winner, the 56-year-old stepped away from full-time caddying to pursue a career in the media as on-course reporter for NBC Sports and Golf Channel.
However, the American is now back on the bag and this time joins Thomas after he parted ways with former caddie Jimmy Johnson, who had been alongside the world No 6 since his rookie season in 2015.
Following his change on the bag the 14-time PGA Tour winner released a statement on Twitter regarding Johnson’s departure, confirming he did not sack his former caddie.
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He said: “Jimmy and I had an incredible run of 6 years together but we have agreed to go our separate ways. I 100% did not fire him, as Jimmy come to me after the Ryder Cup and decided he has decided to pursue other opportunities.
“I have nothing but respect for Jimmy and his wife, and I’ll always appreciate all the success and times we had together, I wish him all the best -JT”
This will not be the first time both Mackay and Thomas have linked up, as the 2017 PGA Champion has had the 56-year-old as a temporary caddie twice before, including when Thomas clinched his second World Golf Championship at last year’s St. Jude Invitational.
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Speaking about his new role alongside the 28-year-old, Mackay said: “It came out of left field very recently. I have just tremendous respect for [Thomas] as a person and a player.
“It was an incredible phone call to get and I said yes.”
Despite ‘loving’ his reporting job with NBC and Golf Channel, Mickelson’s former right-hand man admitted that working alongside Thomas was an opportunity he could not turn down.
He added: “I love to caddie and I loved my role with NBC/Golf Channel,” Mackay said, “but it’s Justin Thomas.”
The 56-year-old will however still be able to continue both of his golfing endeavours, as he will still carry out his media duties for the American channel when he isn’t on the course with the 28-year-old.
Thomas played a key role in last week’s crushing Ryder Cup victory for Team USA, as Steve Stricker’s team recorded a record-breaking 19-9 win over the Europeans, the biggest margin of victory in the modern era of the tournament.
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