Matthew Fitzpatrick admits that he did a double-take when he looked at his phone. The Englishman was in need of a caddie, having returned to the U.S. while his regular caddie, Billy Foster, stayed back home in the U.K. However, he didn’t expect to receive a text from someone with the credentials of Jim “Bones” Mackay.
Mackay now works as an on-course reporter for NBC and Golf Channel, but he spent more than 20 years caddying for Phil Mickelson as Mickelson captured five major titles. He contacted Matt a few weeks ago and now he’ll be on the bag for this week’s Workday for Charity Open and next week’s Memorial Tournament, both at Muirfield Village.
“I was shocked, honestly. I was absolutely shocked,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think [Workday CEO] Aneel [Bhusri] sort of helped out with that, as well, and then obviously Bones got in touch. He texted me, and we took it from there really.”
“Having seen Matt play for several years now, getting paired with him when I was still with Phil, I knew two things: that he was a really good player and a really good guy,” Mackay said.
Caddie to the Rescue
“When I heard through the grapevine that some of the European caddies weren’t coming over because of the quarantine issues, and I heard Billy, in particular, wasn’t coming with Matt, I thought, my goodness, I’m going to reach out to this guy because I love to caddie, I still consider myself a caddie to this day who’s just doing TV. And I said, ‘Hey if I can help out at all, I’d love to do it.'”
Fitzpatrick is currently ranked No. 26 in the world and made his lone appearance at Muirfield Village at last year’s Memorial. Given that Mackay boasts nearly two decades of course experience while looping for Mickelson, Fitzpatrick plans to tap into his vast library of course knowledge over the next two weeks.
It is good to see these great caddies such as Foster and Mackay passing on their tips to younger players who will certainly get their monies worth. You never know maybe Bones will get a large 10% too.
Image: Creator: Stan Badz | Credit: US PGA TOUR