Jim “Bones” Mackay has picked up another top bag this week. He was on the grounds at TPC Southwind on Wednesday and working for world No. 3 Justin Thomas as a fill-in at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Thomas’s regular caddie, Jimmy Johnson, had to leave during the third round of The Memorial Tournament on July 18. At the time, Johnson said he started “feeling dizzy” and fell ill, and was replaced on the 12th hole by Thomas’s father, Mike, who carried Justin’s clubs for the rest of the tournament. Mike, who coaches his son, carried the bag on Tuesday. According to Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe, who spoke to Justin on Wednesday, Johnson is still experiencing dizziness and was undergoing additional testing.
Mackay, 53, who spent 25 years as Phil Mickelson’s caddie, came out of retirement earlier this month to caddie for Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick during the Workday Charity Open and The Memorial at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Fitzpatrick finished T-27 their first week together and third the next.
Englishman Billy Foster, Fitzpatrick’s longtime caddie, elected not to fly to the U.S. and self-quarantine for two weeks. He recently flew across the pond and is back on the Englishman’s bag for the first time this week.
Mackay confirmed to Golfweek that he would be on Thomas’s bag this week, but declined to answer any further questions out of respect to Thomas and his fellow caddie and longtime friend, Johnson. Mackay has subbed for Johnson once before at the 2018 Sony Open of Hawaii when Johnson was sidelined with a foot injury.
Mackay parted ways with Mickelson in June 2017, and has become a key member of the NBC/Golf Channel broadcast team as an on-course reporter 22 weeks of the year.
Speaking at the Workday Charity Open, Mackay said, “when the PGA Tour got restarted I was envious of the guys being back out here, whether it’s TV, caddying, what have you. To have this opportunity to be out here with the fellas in the sun getting a bit of exercise is a fantastic feeling.”
Thomas and Johnson, who previously caddied for Steve Stricker, teamed to win the 2017 PGA Championship. According to Golf Channel’s McCabe, Thomas said Mackay would be on the bag next week as well at TPC Harding Park for the PGA Championship, the first major to be played in more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.