Phil Mickelson’s regular caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, had a rough go of it on Friday at the WGC-Mexico Championship. Mackay relieved himself of Mickelson’s bag after four holes because of a wicked stomach virus which various golfers and caddies have been wrestling with this week (including leader Rory McIlroy).
Bones hopped on a golf cart and made a beeline for what looked like the closest restroom. So who stepped in for the only caddie Mickelson has had since 1992? Mickelson’s brother, Tim, who is also Jon Rahm’s manager.
“It was the first time we were able to do that, and it was fun,” Tim Mickelson told the Associated Press. “Trust me, I don’t want Bones’ job, though. I have a whole new respect. Every hole seems uphill.”
Mickelson shot 1 under with Bones on the bag for the first four holes and 2 under the rest of the way for the 3-under 68 after shooting 67 on Thursday. Tim said that Phil did not (and will not) take advice from him.
“He’s never listened to me on the course or off the course, so nothing is going to change,” Tim told the AP. “We both made sure we did the numbers, and then after that, it was up to him to figure out stuff.”
Phil figured it out all right. As of Friday he was second in the field this week in putting and will play in the final pairing with McIlroy on Saturday. Bones has been able to return for Round 3.
“Bones is irreplaceable. I mean he’s one of the best in the business,” Phil told reporters afterwards. “But he’s hurting. It’s a difficult course to walk because it is hilly. We’ve had phenomenal times. But on the positive side, I had a lot of fun with my brother.”
Lefty is looking for his first win on the PGA Tour since the 2013 Open Championship. This would be his third WGC win which would tie him for second all time.