Thomas and ‘Bones’ split ahead of the Masters

Fatiha Betscher

Justin Thomas(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Double PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas will tee-up at next week’s Masters with a new caddie after revealing he’s split with bagman Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay.

Thomas and ‘Bones’ have been an item since late 2021 when Thomas and prior long-time caddie Jimmy Johnson split following the USA’s triumph at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

‘Bones’, also the long-time caddy to Phil Mickelson, came on board and in May 2022 he pulled the clubs on route to Thomas’ second Wanamaker Trophy success after a play-off with Will Zalatoris at Southern Hills.

Disappointingly, it was Thomas’ last win while his 2023 season was spoiled in missing the halfway cut in three of the four majors, so news of JT and Bones splitting should come as no surprise.

“While incredibly difficult for me to say, Bones and I have parted ways,” he wrote on his ‘X’ account

“I’m going to be forever thankful for him joining me on the bag in 2021. The things we’ve been able to accomplish together – The PGA Championship in 2022, The Presidents Cup, the Ryder Cup were all unforgettable experiences.  His wisdom on and off the course has been a blessing during a tough stretch of my career and he was there every step of the way.

“I know there are great things coming for both of us down the road. I wish him the best of luck and will always count him and his family amongst my friends”.

Mackay, 58, is one the game’s most successful and recognisable caddies having spent some 25-years working with Mickelson and being present calling the shots in five of Mickelson’s six major championship victories.

Thomas kick-started season 2024 with four top-12 finishes in his opening five events, although he missed the cut during the recent Players Championship.

“The things we’ve been able to accomplish together – the PGA Championship in 2022, the Presidents Cup, the Ryder Cups were all unforgettable experiences,” added Thomas, who is 28th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

“His wisdom on and off the course has been a blessing during a tough stretch of my career and he was there every step of the way.”

Thomas will have Matt Minister, the former caddy to Patrick Cantlay on the bag for next week’s Masters.  Minister had caddied for Cantlay when he won the 2021 Tour Championship in nearby Atlanta.

And in an amazing coincidence Mickelson will also have a new caddy at next week’s Masters after first advising his younger brother Tim, and who has been caddying since 2017, is stepping down from caddying to spend more time with his family.

Mickelson will have Jon Yarbough, and who worked the past decade for Scott Stallings, by his side at Augusta National and with Golfweek reporting Mickelson offered Yarbough “incredible” guaranteed money that helped sway him.

Yarbough has also worked for Gary Woodland, Bill Haas and Smylie Kaufman as well as LPGA players Kelly Robbins, Morgan Pressel and Suzann Pettersen.

Last year, Mickelson, at 52, finished tied for second, becoming the oldest golfer to ever finish that high at the Masters.

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