THERE were a couple of rather significant announcements in the world of caddies – pertaining to Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson.
NBC Sports and Golf Channel on-course reporter Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay told Golf Channel this week that he was returning to caddie full time for Thomas, one of the stars of the triumphant US Ryder Cup team last week.
Mackay has been on Thomas’ bag before. He caddied for the world number six when Thomas’ regular caddie, Jimmy Johnson, was sidelined by injury at the 2018 Sony Open.
He stepped in again for Johnson at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which Thomas won, the PGA Championship and the FedExCup playoff events.
Speaking of the commitment, Mackay said: “I have tremendous respect for Justin as a person and a player. It was an incredible phone call to get and I said yes.
“I love to caddie and I loved my role with NBC/Golf Channel. But it’s Justin Thomas.”
Mackay caddied for Phil Mickelson for 25 years before moving to NBC Sports/Golf Channel in 2017.
Johnson was inducted into the US Caddie Hall of Fame in August. He was Thomas’ caddie since his rookie season in 2015.
The 64-year-old Johnson started his career playing the Southern African Sunshine Tour where he became friends with Nick Price, whom later he caddied for.
Price went on to become Zimbabwe’s first and only world number one in the sport.
Watson, meanwhile, is parting ways with his long-time caddie Ted Scott. This partnership, which lasted 15 years saw them win 12 PGA Tour titles together, including two Major championship titles – both Masters Green Jackets.
Watson tweeted on Thursday: “We recently came to the decision after some deep talks, not only about golf but life... to end our on-course partnership.
“When we met I don’t think we ever imagined how much we would experience together.
“Teddy deserves more credit than anyone can imagine for our success on the golf course, but I am just as grateful for his friendship and the way he has helped me grow as a person.
“@jtedscott thank you for having my back for the last 15 years. It has been a blessing and privilege to have you by my side.
“I know you’ll do great things whether it’s coaching or caddying.
“I’m excited to see and support whatever comes next for you my friend.”