Mickelson, caddie Mackay part ways
- Bubba Golf takes long road back to winner's circle
- Bubba Watson vaults into the lead at the Genesis Open with third-round 65
- Tiger Woods looking ahead after likely missing cut at Genesis Open
- Bill Haas escapes serious injury after fatal car crash
One of the longest-running relationships between player and caddie is over.
Phil Mickelson and caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay each released a pair of statements Tuesday explaining that the two have "mutually decided to go our separate ways," ending a run that began with a U.S. Open sectional qualifier in 1992.
"Player-caddie relationships don't often last that long," Mackay wrote. "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."
Mackay and Mickelson became one of the most-recognized duos in golf, combining for 41 PGA Tour wins including five majors. Mickelson, who turned 47 last week, has not won since the 2013 Open Championship. While he withdrew from last week's U.S. Open, he still sent Mackay to scout the course on the off chance he would be able to play.
Phil Mickelson plays catch with his caddie Jim "Bones" MacKay before teeing off for the final round of the 2001 PGA Championship.
"Our decision is not based on a single incident. We just feel it's the right time for a change," Mickelson wrote. "My relationship and history with Bones far exceeds golf. He has been one of the most important and special people in my life since the day we met and I will always be grateful for everything he has done for me."
Mickelson confirmed that his caddie for the remainder of the season will be his brother, Tim, who quit his job last year as Arizona State men's golf coach to become the agent for Jon Rahm. Mickelson is expected to make his next start at The Greenbrier Classic next month.
Mackay pointed out in his statement that he has not used his one-time veto yet this season and offered to transfer it to Tim "in all its glory." But Phil addressed that notion in his statement, adding that "for the record, vetoes are non-transferable."
Phil Mickelson gets a impromptu massage by caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay before the second round of the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The last event Mickelson and Mackay worked together turned out to be the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where Mickelson finished ninth and spoke before the tournament began about the fact that he and Mackay were celebrating 25 years together.
"I do think every time I come back here, 25 years ago to the day basically on Monday, Tuesday. It was Farmington Golf Course was the first day Bones and I ever worked together," Mickelson said. "It was exactly 25 years ago this week. So every time I come back here to Memphis I always think about that, and that particular moment."
It’s been just two years since he hoisted a trophy on the PGA Tour, but with a mind that moves as fast as Bubba Watson’s, it must have felt like an eternity.
While the results haven't quite been there this season, Bubba Watson felt his game was still on an upward trend coming into the Genesis Open, saying he "had the shots now" after a second-round one-under 70 at Riviera Country Club.
Tiger Woods will be around at the Genesis Open this weekend – unfortunately he won’t be playing.