Mickelson splits with caddie of 25 years

Phil Mickelson mutually part ways with caddie Jim Mackay after a trophy-laden 25 years together.
Phil Mickelson mutually part ways with caddie Jim Mackay after a trophy-laden 25 years together.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Five-time Major champion Phil Mickelson announced on Tuesday that he has split with caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay after working together for 25 years and 41 professional triumphs.

The 47-year-old left-hander and the bagman he met at the 1992 US Open sectional qualifying in Memphis parted ways as friends, each releasing a statement saying as much.

"Our decision is not based on a single incident. We just feel it's the right time for a change," Mickelson said. "My relationship and history with Bones far exceeds golf," he continued, adding that he looks to forward to "sharing life and friendship" forever.

The American has not won a title since the 2013 British Open.

Mickelson's younger brother Tim, 39, will take over as caddie for the remainder of the season, starting with his next event, the PGA Greenbrier Classic from July 6-9.

Tim, the former golf coach at Arizona State University, and now an agent for Spaniard Jon Rahm, filled in for a day when Mackay was sick at a World Golf Championships event in Mexico earlier this year.

"After an amazing 25-year run, Phil and I have mutually decided to go our separate ways," said Mackay, who this year has been recovering from double knee replacement surgery. "Player-caddie relationships don't often last that long. I will always be grateful that I was around to witness so much of Phil's career."

Mickelson's success made Mackay's dream come true.

"When Phil hired me in 1992, I had one dream: To caddie in a Ryder Cup. Last year, at Hazeltine (National), Phil played in his 11th straight Ryder Cup. It was so cool to have a front-row seat," he said.

"I wish Phil nothing but the best. His game is still at an elite level, and when he wins in the future (definitely the Masters), I will be among the first to congratulate him."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Mickelson splits with caddie of 25 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe