Jim “Bones” Mackay’s Funny Story of Cans by Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas and Jim “Bones” Mackay walk down the aisle during the final round of the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis.

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As far as cans go, Jim “Bones” Mackay has quite the run — and he’s not done yet. Mackay has been carrying the Phil Mickelson bag for more than two decades, and the duo has won five majors and 41 PGA Tour championships. Mackay Carrying Justin Thomas bag full time In September 2021, they Won the PGA Championship in May.

McKay was this week’s guest on GOLF’s Subpar Podcast, where he discussed how he got started with Mickelson, his latest gig with Thomas and more. He also explained one of the embarrassing moments he had when he started coaching Thomas.

After Mackay and Mickelson split up in the summer of 2017, Bones took a job as a reporter on the NBC internship. But he still filled Thomas’ luggage several times, once at the Sony Open in 2018 and again at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and PGA in 2020.

It was the week at WGC-FedEx St. Jude is in Memphis as a last-minute call after Thomas’ usual pack, Jimmy Johnson, got sick two weeks ago and was taking the week for more tests. He called Thomas Pons, who arrived in time for Wednesday’s practice round.

On Thursday morning, with no fans on the course due to the pandemic, Thomas opened his tour with a block from the first starting point. His ball went right and into the trees.

“I know that’s not where we want to be, it’s definitely not halfway – we’re going to have to deal with a few things,” McKay said on Subpar. “So the can brain tells me to get your ass off the tee, run in there and prepare what you need to prepare your player before he gets there.”

Thomas had 169 left in the hole. Maybe he had to play a little piece in the green.

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“We put these trees in front of us,” Mackay continues. “ShotLink guys over there. There’s this little kind of window in the trees and I’m like, ‘OK, let’s move this cable, let’s move this shaft, let’s move this ShotLink device to the side.’ And the [Thomas] He gets there, and by the time I’ve gone through this whole process, I’m standing there ready to go, and now he’s standing next to me. And he looked at me and said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m getting everything out of the way.”

‘ He said, ‘I’m guiding her aside in the aisle. It struck me: “Oh, that’s right, I’ve carried an elephant’s bag for 25 years, and if there’s a gap, there’s no doubt where we’re headed.”

“Yeah, that whole choppy thing, I’ve heard about it,” MacKay joked.

Thomas pitched it 66 yards from the middle of the fairway. Mackay apologized to ShotLink’s men during his passing.

Thomas wasted 13 feet to save Equality, but this bogey was his only one back in the day. after three days won the championshipoutperforming four others – including Mickelson – by three.

“He did what a lot of great cans do and they let the player do it,” Thomas said after the win. “There is a reason they are the best and he has done an incredible job this week, especially for being in this situation, which we haven’t been in together before.”

You can listen to Mackay’s full interview with Subpar below.

Josh Beerhau

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is Managing Editor at GOLF.com. This Minnesota-born graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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