Johnny and June. Coach and Tami. Phil and Bones. Nobody begins a relationship thinking it won’t last forever, and for two of these three perfect pairs, that was the case. But earlier today, Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay, his caddy of 25 years, parted ways, leaving the hall of fame of celebrity partnerships and joining the ranks of flamed out flings like Brittney and Justin.
People are speculating this was a long time coming. Some even allege they saw the two get into it at a tournament earlier this year. Both individuals insist it was a mutual decision and that they “look forward to share life and friendship forever.” I don’t know what the circumstances are, but I can definitely see it as being mutual. From Bones’ perspective, there’s really no need for him to keep doing it. By the lowest estimates he’s earned at least $5 million looping for Phil, so he’s not out there doing it for the money anymore. Plus he’s had a couple knee surgeries in the past five years, and when you’re having to lug a tour bag into some of the spots that Phil’s tee shots are known to find, that can understandably be hell on repaired ligaments. I can totally see why he’d be ready to be done. If this were any other company he’d have already gotten his Rolex and mandatory retirement papers.
But if you’re Phil, you’re nowhere ready to hang it up. You’re one U.S. Open away from a career grand slam, your driving distance is still right in the meatiest part of the bell curve to keep you competitive, and you’ve got two more Ryder Cup teams to play on before you get forced into retiring and being a captain.
No doubt it’s an unfortunate split up for the golf world. In a tour that rarely sees caddies at the forefront of a player’s career, Phil and Bones were an example of how true partnership can lead to incredible success. But, life must go on, and just in case Phil reads this, I’d like to formally apply for the open caddy position.
I know he’s already announced his brother Tim will be on his bag through the year, but when that offseason hits I’ll be ready. I’m a natural fit for the job. I’m left-handed, Phil’s left-handed, so I’ll be looking at shots and offering suggestions from the same perspective, seeing lines on putts the same way I’ve been seeing them since I started playing. My knees have zero tour experience, they’re fresh and waiting to trek over rough and into woods, wherever Phil’s tee shots take us. I spent four years working for a corporate behemoth so being told the company is doing something outrageous and nonsensical, or that my advice is going in one ear and out the other won’t bother me one bit. Plus, I’ve got a pretty clean criminal record so I can totally take an insider trading charge if I need to.
I know we’re all devastated that they’re splitting up after so many years together, but it’s time to let it go. Phil needs to get back out there, make himself vulnerable again, put himself in a position to find someone new. Everyone needs a rebound and if anybody sees Phil in the next few weeks let him know my two-week notice is ready to print and I can be on a plane as soon as he touches base. .
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