Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay finally gets his caddie trophy

Tulsa, Oklahoma — Jim “Bones” Mackay gets some help in unscrewing 18thAfter his boss Justin Thomas beat Wilzara Torres in the playoffs to win 104th Nanshan PGA Championship.

It was moments like these that Bones, 56, put down the NBC Sports and Golf Channel microphones and resumed being a caddie for a player he told his wife that if he got a chance to work for it, they would be the conversation.

It was an easy decision for Bones when Thomas found Bones shortly after the 2021 Ryder Cup and asked him to be his full-time caddie. Thomas wanted him to be on the bag on Saturday night, when a frustrated Thomas felt his 4-over 74 in the third round had disqualified him. Although Thomas would go into the final round with a seven-shot advantage, the bones provided the necessary tough love.

“I have full confidence to say that if he didn’t give me that, I wouldn’t be standing here, not necessarily a speech, but a speech, if you will,” Thomas said. “I just need to let off some steam. I don’t need to take home my frustration and anger. I don’t need to leave the golf course with a negative mindset. I’m just disappointed,” I played well yesterday, 4 shots, But I think I played badly. “He was like, ‘Man, you have to stop being so hard on yourself. You compete every week we play.”

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Bones continued: “It’s a grand slam. You don’t have to be perfect. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Just let things happen and everything is going in the right direction. So just stay positive and good things will happen. .”

“I’m leaving here in a great mood,” Thomas said.

On Sunday, Thomas returned the putt to the bone after making a few final putts on the practice green. There was no exchange, but Thomas calmly took the new glove with the bones on the calibration bar and started walking towards the golf cart that transported the players and caddies to the first tee. The children on the railing shouted to him, but his mind was elsewhere. Instead, he slapped the glove on his right thigh. hard. He did it again, then a third time. If any inexperienced leader falters, he swoops in.

It didn’t look that early when Thomas made two bogeys on his first six holes, including a calf off the tee on the par-3 sixth, which Burns later joked was “a Calf, Bucky, Sand”. Thomas found his improvement with a 67, the only player to break par in the final seven groups on Sunday, and was all-out when he finally made the three-hole playoff.

“Bone does an incredible job keeping me in the moment,” Thomas said.

Justin Thomas and Burns McKay play on the 11th hole during the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at South Hills Country Club. (Photo: Matt York/AP)

Winning a major is a cliché for Bones, who has won five for Phil Mickelson during his 25-year career. But he has no caddie trophy to show.

As detailed in the new book “Phil: The Roaring (and Unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” Mickelson has a tradition of handing the winning banner to his grandfather at age 18 , he was a Pebble Beach caddie, and he hung them on the wall of his kitchen. Mickelson’s first major flag at the 2004 Masters came there four months after his death.

“McKay understands and respects that gesture, but goes on to win 19 tours, including four majors, and he never keeps a flag,” Shipnak wrote.

“You’re such a big guy for a caddie,” Shipnak quoted a person close to McKay. “When Phil won the Masters, he got the green jacket, the trophy, the big check, all the glory. He had to carry the flag too? … Phil’s not following tradition is very disrespectful.”

During the week of the WM Phoenix Open, Bones hosted a dinner for players and caddies at his home, and he was always asked, “Where’s the flag?”

Shortly after their split in the summer of 2017, Mickelson handed over the main banner they had won together overnight to the bones.

“But Phil signed with a ridiculously large mother pen, which McKay felt ruined the memorabilia,” Shipnack reports, noting that the bones never displayed them in his home.

Bones was not involved in Shipnuck’s book, and when asked to confirm these details from Shipnuck’s book, he declined. But he didn’t refute them either.

Ironically, Burns chose not to play in the PGA game where Mickelson was supposed to be the defending champion. On Sunday, Bones will be 18th The flag is tucked into the left pocket of the shorts. When asked if he knew where to show it, he laughed happily.

“I have a place,” he said, adding that he had to get his wife’s approval, “but my friends can come and see.”


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